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"The spirit walks or every day deceased." — Young. 

[Mrs. Barrett's motto. ] 

" Ir she [Mme. D'Arblay] recorded with minute diligence all the 
compliments, delicate and coarse, which she heard wherever she 
turned, she recorded them for the eyes of two or three persons 
who had loved her from infancy, who had loved her in obscurity, 
and to whom her fame gave the purest and most exquisite delight. 
Nothing can be more unjust than to confound these outpourings 
of a kind heart, sure of perfect sympathy, with the egotism of 
a blue-stocking, who prates to all who come near her about her 
own novel or her own volume of sonnets." — Macaulay {Edinburgh 
Review, January 1843, p. 539). 


This edition of the Diary and Letters, 1778- 
1840, of Frances or Fanny Burney, afterwards 
Madame D'Arblay, is based on the seven volumes 
issued by Henry Colburn in 1842-46. Of the first 
two of these volumes, there are two impressions, 
one being fuller than the other. The title-pages 
give no indication of difference ; and the only 
thing in the nature of a reference to such differ- 
ence is a notification prefixed to the General 
Index in the last volume, announcing disin- 
genuously that "the second impression of Vols. I. 
and II. differs from the first in the arrangement 
of the pages " ; and further, that " the Index is 
made in accordance with the first." In the 
present edition the first impression of these two 
volumes has been followed, and the passages 
omitted from the second impression have been 
placed between square brackets. There is nothing 
to suggest why they were left out ; and as they 

are here restored, it is needless to put forward 

vii a 2 


any theory in order to account for their with- 
drawal. The other circumstances connected with 
the first appearance of the book are fully explained 
in the " Editor's Introduction." 

The Appendices to the volumes — here arranged 
as six instead of seven — are new, and consist of 
unpublished letters, or extracts from other sources, 
which were too lengthy to be included in the 

The Notes, with rare exceptions, generally 
specified, have been written for this edition. 
The Editor of 1842-46, Mrs. Charlotte Francis 
Barrett, had appended to six of her volumes some 
three or four pages of "Biographical Notes," 
which, at the date of their publication, were 
doubtless adequate. But they are now more 
than fifty years old ; and it seemed expedient to 
substitute for them here Notes which should be 
at once more modern, more numerous, and not 
exclusively biographical. In those now offered to 
the public, conciseness has been attentively con- 
sidered. While such modest aids to identification 
as dates of birth and death have not been dis- 
dained, it has been held that to give some idea of 
the position or achievement of the persons named 
at the precise moment when they come under 
the pen of the Diarist, is more useful than to 


recount their histories from the cradle to the 
grave. As to Notes which are not biographical, 
and which relate to places, books, quotations, 
occurrences, and so forth, it is hoped that the 
particulars supplied will sufficiently meet the 
requirements of the reader. 

The Illustrations, consisting of Portraits, Views, 
Autographs, and Plans, have been carefully chosen. 
In all cases an attempt has been made to secure 
those only which are either actually mentioned in 
the text, or are nearly contemporary with that 
text ; and full information respecting them will be 
found in the Lists of Illustrations, or at the foot 
of the illustrations themselves. 

An Index accompanies each volume, and this, 
in Volume VI., takes the form of a General 

Thanks are due, and are hereby tendered, to 
the following persons : — to Archdeacon Burney, 
Vicar of St. Mark's, Surbiton, for information, 
autographs, and assistance generally ; to Mr. 
F. Leverton Harris, M.P., of Camilla Lacey, 
Dorking, for information, autographs, and illus- 
trations ; to Mr. William Bousfield, of Fairfield, 
Great Bookham, for information and permission to 
photograph the cottage in which Madame D'Arblay 
lived for four years ; to Mr. Arthur C. Benson, 


for permission to photograph Mrs. Delanys house 
at Windsor; to Messrs. George Bell and Sons, 
for permission to make use of the Early Diary 
of Frances Burney, published by them in 1889 ; 
and lastly (though not for the first time), to Mr. 
Henry R. Tedder, the Secretary and Librarian of 
the Athenaeum Club, for valuable aid and sympa- 
thetic suggestion. Nor must acknowledgment be 
omitted to Mr. Emery Walker for the untiring 
interest he has taken in the procuring and pre- 
paring of the Illustrations ; and to Mr. R. J. Lister 
for kindly undertaking to compile the Indexes. 

Austin Dobson. 

75 Eaton Rise, Ealing, W., 
October 1904. 






The publication of Evelina — Its designs and objects — Secrecy of its 
publication — Letter from the publisher — Alarm of the writer at 
being known — Awkward predicament — Critiques on Evelina — 
Mr. Crisp — Evelina read by Dr. Burney — His discovery of its 
author — Dr. Johnson — Letters from Miss Burney to her father 
— Mrs. Thrale — Astonishing success of Evelina — Disclosure of 
its authorship to her mother — Mrs. Cholmondeley — Mrs. Thrale 
— Mr. Lowndes — Letters from Miss Burney to her sister — Dr. 
Johnson — Miss Burney's feelings on her unlooked-for success 
as an authoress — Guesses as to the writer of Evelina — Diary 
resumed — Dr. Burney acquaints Mrs. Thrale with the secret — 
Singular position of the writer — Letter of Mrs. Thrale — 
Madame Riccoboni— Dr. Johnson reads Evelina — His opinion 
of it — Anna Williams — Invitation to Streatham — The author's 
alarm at meeting the literary circle there — Great profits of the 
publisher — First visit to Streatham — Her reception by the 
Thrales — Mrs. Thrale's admiration of Evelina — She describes 
Dr. Johnson's imitating characters in Evelina- -Mr. Se ward- 
First introduction to Dr. Johnson — His conversation — Garrick 
— His prologues and epilogues — Garrick and Wilkes — Wear 
and tear of the face— Sir John Hawkins — An "unclubable 
man " — A mean couple — Sir Joshua Reynolds — He sits up all 
night to read Evelina — Miss Burney visits Mr. Lowndes — 
His account of the author of Evelina — Secret history — Letters 
from Mr. Crisp— Anecdote of Quin the actor . . .21 



Streatham Journal resumed— Character of Mr. Thrale— -Dr. John- 
son — Country neighbours — Bennet Langton— Character of Mrs. 
Thrale— Table-talk of Dr. Johnson— Eccentricities of the Cum- 
berland family — Dr. Johnson and Richard Cumberland— More 
table-talk of Dr. Johnson— Anecdotes of the Cumberland 
family— Mrs. Montagu and Bet Flint— The female wits— Mrs. 



Pinkethman— Mrs. Rudd— Kitty Fisher— An election dinner— 
/Dr. Johnson — Anecdote of his rudeness — His Lives of the Poets 
— Mrs. Charlotte Lennox — The author of Hermes — Learned 
ladies— Johnson's opinion of them — Richardson— Fielding — 
Murphy — Mr. Lort — Cumberland — Seward — Chatterton — The 
perils of popularity — Hannah More — Dr. Johnson's harsh treat- 
ment of her ....... 65 



Anecdotes of Johnson — A dinner at Streatham — Sir Joshua 
Reynolds — Mystification — Dr. Calvert — Mrs. Cholmondeley — 
Edmund Burke — His opinion of Evelina — Mrs. Montagu — 
Dr. Johnson's household — A collection of oddities — A poor 
scholar — The Lives of the Poets — Visit of Mrs. Montagu to 
Streatham — Johnson's opinion of her — Character of Johnson's 
conversation — His compliments and rebuffs — Table-talk of 
Johnson, Mrs. Montagu, and Mrs. Thrale — The value of 
critical abuse— Dr. Johnson's severe speeches — " Civil for four " 
— Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith — Dr. Jebb — Match-making — 
Critics and authors — Letter from Mr. Crisp — Mr. Seward — A 
grand dinner at Streatham — High heels — Table-talk— The 
distinctions of rank — Irene — Hannah More — Her play — Letter 
from Mr. Crisp — How to write a comedy . . . 101 



Diary resumed — Pacchierotti — Description of his singing — Bertoni 
— Giardini — Piozzi — An adventure — Dr. Francklin — Letters 
from Mrs. Thrale and Mr. Crisp — Remonstrance on false deli- 
cacy — Difficulties of dramatic writing — Dancing in fetters — 
How to use advice — Miss Burney's views on comedy — Female 
authorship — Letter from Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — The pains 
of publicity — Diary resumed — Sir Joshua Reynolds — Mason, 
the poet — Visit from Dr. Johnson — Mrs. Thrale — Visit to Sir 
Joshua Reynolds — Mrs. Horneck and Mrs. Bunbury — Lord 
Palmerston — Mrs. Cholmondeley — A scene — Cross-examination 
— A dialogue — The knight of Plympton — Visit to Streatham — 
Dr. Johnson — Mr. Seward — Dr. Burney — Fair and brown — A 
dialogue with Dr. Johnson — Books and authors — Table-talk 
between Johnson, Mrs. Thrale, and Miss Burney — Evelina — 
Mrs. Montagu — Three classes of critics on books — Miss 
Burney's anxiety to avoid notice as an author — Mrs. 
Cholmondeley — Lord Palmerston — Visit to Dr. Johnson — 
Mr. Seward— Lady Miller's vase— Baretti— Visit to Mrs. 
Cholmondeley — A party of wits and fashionables — The 
beautiful Mrs. Sheridan — Mrs. Crewe — Pacchierotti 's singing 
— The Duke of Dorset and Miss Cumberland — Hannah More 
— Her habit of flattering her friends — The Earl of Harcourt — 



Mrs. Vesey — R. B. Sheridan — His personal appearance and 
manner — Dr. Joseph Warton — Sheridan's opinion of Evelina — 
The Sylph — Dialogue between Sheridan, Miss Burney, Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, and Mrs. Cholmondeley — Miss Burney 
urged by Sheridan to write a comedy . . . .154 



Diary resumed — Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson— Sir Philip Clerke— 
Whigs and Tories — A political discussion — Liberality of Dr. 
Johnson — Murphy, the dramatist — He urges Miss Burney to 
write a comedy — Table-talk between Johnson, Murphy, Mrs. 
Thrale, and Miss Burney — Country neighbours — Goldsmith — 
Tears at will — Letter from Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — The 
Maecenases of the day — Diary resumed — Visit to Brighton — 
Brighton society in 17T9 — A grand dinner-party — A character 
— The Bishop of Peterborough — An evening party — Wealth 
and ennui — Queen Dido — News from home — An order from 
headquarters — Military discipline — Captain Crop — Dr. Delap — 
Mr. Murphy — Cross-examination — The Bishop of Winchester 
— Return to Streatham — Illness of Mr. Thrale — Sir Philip 
Clerke — Evelina — A learned lady — Table-talk — Tears at will — 
The man of indifference — Taste in dress — Raillery— Affectation 
—Candide — Pococurante — Dr. Middieton — A weeping beauty 
— Table-talk — Intended journey to Spa — Projected comedy — 
A scene — Ennui — Sir Richard Jebb — Lady Anne Lindsay — 
Learned ladies — Dr. Johnson . . . . .198 



Dr. Johnson — His brilliant conversation — His preference of men of 
the world to scholars— The late General Phipps — Dr. Johnson 
teaches Miss Burney Latin — Fatal effect of using cosmetics — 
Mrs. Vesey and Anstey — English ladies taken by a French 
privateer— Letters— Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp— Miss Burney's 
comedy, The Witlings — Miss Burney to her father — The 
Witlings condemned by him and Mr. Crisp — She determines 
not to bring it forward — Admired by Mrs. Thrale and Mr. 
Murphy — Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — Lamentations for her 
comedy — Mr. Crisp to Miss Burney — The dangers of sincerity 
— Littleness and vanity of Garrick — Ideas for another comedy 
— An eccentric family — Loss of the Grenadas — Dinner 
at Dr. Burney's— Mr. Crisp— Byron and D'Estaing— Diary 
resumed — Visit to Brighton — Mr. Chamier — A dandy of 
fifty years ago — A visit to Knowle Park — Description of 
the pictures and state apartments — Sevenoaks — Tunbridge 
Wells— A female oddity— The Pantiles — Mr. Wedderburn 
—A runaway match — Its miseries — Extraordinary child 
—Brighton — A character — A fascinating bookseller — 



Topham Beauclerk— Lady Di Beauclerk— Mrs. Musters — A 
mistake — Lady Pembroke — Scenes in a ball-room — How to 
put down impertinence — A provincial company — Dryden's 
Tempest — Cumberland — Singular anecdotes of him — His hatred 
of all contemporary authors — Scene with him and Mrs. Thrale 
in a ball-room — A singular character— Table-talk — Mystification 
— A solemn coxcomb — Dr. Johnson — Sir Joshua Reynolds — 
Price of his portraits — Artists and actors — Garrick — Fifty 
pounds for a song — Learned ladies — Married life — A lordly 
brute — Physicians and patients — Single -speech Hamilton — 
The humours of a newspaper — Odd names — A long story — 
Letter from Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — Character and objects 
of her Journal ....... 248 



Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — The troubles of popularity — Ladies' 
dress — Miss Burney 's comedy of The Witlings — Sheridan's 
application to her — Plot and characters of The Witlings — Lord 
Sandwich — Captain Cook — His death — Hon. Capt. Walsingham 
— George III. and the navy — Dr. Hunter — Dr. Solander — 
Murphy — His oddities — Table-talk — Mr. Crisp to Miss Burney 
— Excellent advice about her comedy — Colley Cibber — Journal 
resumed — Pacchierotti — Journey to Bath — The Lawrence 
family at Devizes — The late President of the Royal Academy 
at ten years of age — Mr. W. Hoare — Arrival at Bath — Descrip- 
tion of the place and company — Parties — Lady Miller's vase — 
Mrs. Montagu— The theatre— The Bowdler family— Dr. Wood- 
ward — Dr. Harrington — Mrs. Byron — Lord Mulgrave — The 
Hon. Augustus Phipps — Table-talk — Anecdotes of the late 
General Phipps — Illustrations of Evelina — Dr. Johnson — The 
Provost of Eton — Bath Society — Dean of Ossory — Mrs. 
Montagu— A witling — Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. Thrale con- 
trasted — Letter from Mr. Crisp — The Duchess of Marlborough 
— A Scotch bishop — Duchess of Portland — Colley Cibber — 
Sheridan — Bath — Journal resumed — Lord Mulgrave — The 
Bowdler family — The Byrons — A pleasant meeting — A mistake 
— An evening party — A pretty poet — Mrs. Siddons as " Belvi- 
dera" — A pink-and-white poet — Anstey, author of the New 
Bath Guide ........ 313 



Dr. Harrington— Chatterton — Bishop Porteus — A dull evening— 
A busy day — Mrs. Dobson — A MS. tragedy — A long story 
about nothing — An evening party — Pliny Melmoth — A 
comical day — A fine lady — A disappointed gentleman — A grand- 
daughter of Richardson — Bath diary resumed — Dr. Johnson 
— His fondness for Miss Burney — Sir Thomas Lawrence's 


family— Anstey — Bishop of Peterborough— A bishop's lady — 
The Duchess of Devonshire— Lady Spencer— Lord Mulgrave 
—Sea captains— Younger brothers— A mistake— Bath gossips 
— Anecdotes of Abyssinian Bruce — The Bo wdler family— Table- 
talk — Admiral Byron — Mrs. Cholmley — An evening party — 
Anstey — Lady Miller — An agreeable rattle— A private concert 
— An accident — Lord Althorpe — A Bath beau— Lord Hunting- 
don — Lord Mulgrave — The Bishop of Peterborough — Mrs. 
Elizabeth Carter — Ferry's folly — A singular collation — An 
evening party — A public breakfast — A singular character — 
A female misanthrope — The results of Hume's Essays — Love 
and suicide — Beattie versus Bolingbroke — The Belvidere — 
Anecdote of Lord Mulgrave — A Bath ball — Love-making — 
Chit-chat — Blue-stockings — Flirtation — A good match— Mrs. 
Thrale — Match-making— The dangers of levity . . . 355 



Bath diary resumed — A dinner-party — Raillery — Flirtation — The 
Bath theatre — Bath actors — The Abbey Church — Garrick and 
Quin — Morning calls — Curiosity — The Dean of Ossory — Beau 
Travell — Family quarrels — An oddity — Bath Easton — Female 
admiration — Miss Bowdler — A female sceptic — A baby critic — 
Lord George Gordon — The No-Popery riots — Danger of Mr. 
Thrale from the riots — Precipitate retreat — Letters from Miss 
Burney — Public excitement — Riots at Bath — Salisbury — Mr. 
Thrale 's house attacked — Letters from Dr. Burney and Mrs. 
Thrale — Description of the riots — Brighton society — Con- 
clusion of the riots — Letters from Miss Burney — Pacchierotti 
— A dinner-party at Dr. Burney's — Lord Sandwich — Captain 
Cook's Journal — Letter from Mrs. Thrale — Brighton society — 
Grub Street — Miss Burney to Mrs. Thrale — Dangerous times 
— A dinner-party at Dr. Burney's — A visit to Dr. Johnson- 
Miss Burney and Dr. Johnson in Grub Street — Son of Edmund 
Burke — A female rattle — Johnson's Lives of the Poets — 
Streatham diary resumed — Brighton — Lady Hesketh — Lady 
Shelley — A juvenile musician — Dangerous illness of Mr. Thrale 
— Dr. Johnson and Mr. Murphy — Lady Lade — Letters — 
Sheridan's Critic — Evelina in the Bodleian Library — Promotion 
—Chit-chat ....... 407 



Correspondence between Miss Burney and Mrs. Thrale-— 
Merlin — His mill to grind old ladies young — Dr. 
Johnson — Bartolozzi — An Owhyhee dress — Conversazione — 
Characters — Mrs. Montagu — Dinner at Mrs. Thrale's— Lord 
Sheffield — Lord John Clinton — Two beauties and a fright- 
Mrs. Carter — Webber's South Sea drawings — Curious fans — 
The Duchess of Devonshire — Sir Joshua Reynolds— A dinner- 



party— A character — Sudden death of Mr. Thrale— Correspond- 
ence between Mr. Crisp and Miss Burney — The Three Warnings 
— Diary resumed — Visitors — Misconceptions — A dinner-party 
— A quarrel — Perseverance and obstinacy — Reconciliation — 
Sale of Mr. Thrale 's brewery — Mr. Barclay, the rich Quaker — 
Dr. Johnson — Newspaper scandal — A poor artist — An odd 
adventure — Anecdote of Dr. Johnson — Sitting for one's por- 
trait — Visit to Streatham — A subject for Harry Bunbury — The 
wits at war — Johnson's Life of Lord Lyttelton — Singular scene 
— Johnson in a savage fit — A peace-maker — Merlin, the 
mechanician ....... 457 

APPENDIX— Boswell at Streatham Place . .509 

INDEX 513 




Frances Burney. From the picture painted by Edward Francis 
Burney in 1782 as engraved in mezzotint in 1840 by Charles 
Turner, A.R.A. . . . . . . Frontispiece 

Samuel Johnson, LL.D. From the picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds 

as engraved in mezzotint in 1779 by William Doughty . .154 

Charles Burney, Mus.D. From the picture painted by Sir Joshua 

Reynolds in 1781 as engraved by F. Bartolozzi . . . 456 


Facsimile of the introductory pages of Miss Burney 's Diary . 20 

Reduced Facsimile of Mrs. Thrale 's letter to Dr. Burney as to 

Evelina, July 22, 1778 . . . . .48 

Facsimile extract from a letter from Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp, 

written in 1779 ....... 312 


Streatham Place. From an engraving by Ellis, dated 1787. [At 
this date it was known as Thrale Place, and was described as the 
residence of G. Piozzi, Esq., Mrs. Thrale 's second husband] . 52 

No. 35 St. Martin's Street (formerly Newton's house). From a 
photograph taken in 1904. [This (once No. 1) ws occupied by 
the Burney s from 177 '4 to 1788 (?) ; and here Evelina was partly 
written] ........ 102 




Frontispiece to vol. iii. of Evelina, 4th edition, 1779. From the 
original washed drawing by John Hamilton Mortimer, A.R.A., 
in the possession of Archdeacon Burney. [Represents the 
monkey episode in Letter Ixxxiii] . . . . .214 

Tunbridge Wells Walk. From the original coloured drawing 
by J. Roberts, afterwards engraved as a frontispiece to the 
Tunbridge Wells Guide, 1786 . . . 274 

View of the Steine at Brighton from the South End, 1778. 
From an engraving by Peter Mazell, after a drawing by James 
Donowell, architect. [Shows the houses of Mrs. ThraWs friend, 
Richard Scrase (2), and the Duke of Marlborough (3), the Castle 
Inn (6), and Thomas's Library (9), etc.] .... 288 

The South Parade at Bath. From an aquatint by James Gandon 

after a drawing by Thomas Malton, published in 1784 . . 326 


It has been asserted that if any person, however 
" unknown to fame," should write a journalising 
memoir of his own life, in which every thought and 
feeling should be faithfully portrayed, such a 
narrative could not fail of being curious and 
interesting. 2 Yet, considering the satisfaction 
which most people find in speaking of themselves, 
it is singular how few specimens of such auto- 
biography exist. 

Perhaps their scarcity may arise from a con- 
sciousness of the rare assemblage of qualities 
necessary to their successful production ; for the 
writer should be endowed with candour that shall 
prompt him to "extenuate nothing," — honestly 
setting down his own foibles and mistakes, which 
are sometimes more mortifying to self-love than 
graver faults. He should have acumen and 
penetration, enabling him to unravel his own 
secret feelings and motives, and to trace each 
sentiment and action to its source. He should be 
gifted with "the pen of a ready writer," in order 
to arrest thoughts and impressions which fade 
almost as fast as they arise ; — and, what is most 

1 By Mrs. Charlotte Francis Barrett, daughter of Mme. D'Arblay's 
younger sister Charlotte. 

2 The allusion is perhaps to Walpole : — " Mr. Gray the poet, has often 
observed to me, that, if any man were to form a Book of what he had 
seen and heard himself, it must, in whatever hands, prove a most useful 
and entertaining one." (Motto on title-page of Pinkerton's Walpoliana.) 

VOL. I ffl B 


rare of all, he should possess, however alloyed by 
human weakness and infirmities, such a predomi- 
nance of sound principles and virtuous dispositions, 
as may render it safe to sympathise in his feelings ; 
otherwise his memoir must either corrupt or disgust 
the reader, by showing 

That hideous sight, — a naked human heart. 1 

To ensure a full and free narration, it might also 
be desirable for the memorialist to believe that his 
pages will meet no eye but that of indulgent friend- 
ship ; since those who expect their portraits will 
be handed down to posterity can scarcely resist 
dressing them in holiday suits. 

May we not, however, venture to affirm that all 
these supposed requisites were united in the case 
of Madame D'Arblay, whose journals and letters 
are now offered to the public ? As an author she 
has long been known to the world, and the high 
place which her works have held in public estima- 
tion for more than sixty years, 2 renders criticism 
and comment superfluous. 

Her long and virtuous life is now closed, and 
those who have derived pleasure and instruction 
from her publications may feel interested in reading 
her private journals, and thus becoming acquainted 
with the merits and peculiarities of her individual 
character ; more especially as the timidity which 
made her always shrink from observation, confined 
to the circle of her chosen friends that knowledge 
of her intimate feelings and real excellence which 
won in no common degree their respect and love. 
We would also hope there may be a moral use in 
presenting the example of one who, being early 
exalted to fame and literary distinction, yet found 
her chief happiness in the discharge of domestic 

2 This, it 

Young's Night Thoughts, Night 3, 1. 226. 

will be remembered, was first published in 1842. 


duties, and in the friendships and attachments of 
private life. 

Frances Burney, the second daughter and third 
child of Dr. Burney, was born at Lynn Regis in 
Norfolk, on the 13th of June 1752. Her father 
had in the preceding year accepted the office of 
organist to that royal borough, having been obliged 
by ill health to quit London, and to relinquish 
more advantageous prospects. 

The most remarkable features of Frances 
Burney's childhood were, her extreme shyness, and 
her backwardness at learning ; at eight years of 
age, she did not even know her letters, and 
her elder brother used to amuse himself by pre- 
tending to teach her to read, and presenting the 
book to her, turned upside down, — which he 
declared she never found out. Her mother's friends 
generally gave her the name of " the little dunce " ; 
but her mother, more discerning as well as more 
indulgent, always replied, that "she had no fear 
about Fanny r 

In fact, beneath an appearance so unpromising 
to cursory observers, there was an undercurrent, 
not only of deep feeling and affection, but of shrewd 
observation and lively invention ; though the feel- 
ings were rarely called forth in the happy careless 
course of childish life, and the intellectual powers 
were concealed by shyness, except when her own 
individuality was forgotten in the zest with which 
she would enact other personages in the little sports 
and gambols she invented. Her father relates, 
that she " used, after having seen a play in Mrs. 
Garrick's box, to take the actors off, and compose 
speeches for their characters ; for she could not 
read them." 1 But in company, or before strangers, 
she was silent, backward, and timid, even to 
sheepishness ; and, from her shyness, had such 

1 Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 1832, ii. 168. 


profound gravity and composure of features, that 
those of Dr. Burney's friends who went often to 
his house, and entered into the different humours 
of the children, never called Fanny by any other 
name, from the time she had reached her eleventh 
year, than "the old lady." 

Dr. Burney adds, " she had always a great 
affection for me ; had an excellent heart, and a 
natural simplicity and probity about her that 
wanted no teaching. In her plays with her sisters, 
and some neighbour's children, this straightforward 
morality operated to an uncommon degree in one 
so young. There lived next door to me, at that 
time, in Poland Street, and in a private house, a 
capital hair-merchant, who furnished peruques to 
the judges, and gentlemen of the law. The 
merchant's female children and mine, used to play 
together in the little garden behind the house ; and, 
unfortunately, one day, the door of the wig- 
magazine being left open, they each of them put 
on one of those dignified ornaments of the head, 
and danced and jumped about in a thousand antics, 
laughing till they screamed at their own ridiculous 
figures. Unfortunately, in their vagaries, one of 
the flaxen wigs, said by the proprietor to be worth 
upwards of ten guineas — in those days a price 
enormous — fell into a tub of water, placed for the 
shrubs in the little garden, and lost all its gorgon 
buckle, and was declared by the owner to be totally 
spoilt. He was extremely angry, and chid very 
severely his own children ; when my little daughter, 
the old lady, then ten years of age, 1 advancing to 
him, as I was informed, with great gravity and 
composure, sedately says ; ' What signifies talking 
so much about an accident ? The wig is wet, to be 
sure ; and the wig was a good wig, to be sure ; but 

1 This gives the date, 1762. The Burneys lived in Poland Street from 
1760 to 1770. 


it's of no use to speak of it any more ; because what's 
done can't be undone.' 

"Whether these stoical sentiments appeased 
the enraged peruquier, I know not, but the 
younkers were stript of their honours, and my little 
monkies were obliged to retreat without beat of 
drum, or colours flying." 1 

Mrs. Burney was well qualified to instruct and 
train her numerous family ; but they lost her early, 
and her chief attention appears to have been 
bestowed on the education of her eldest daughter, 
Esther, with whom she read all Pope's works, and 
Pitt's JEneid ; 2 while the silent, observant Fanny 
learnt by heart passages from Pope, merely from 
hearing her sister recite them, and long before she 
cared for reading them herself. 

In the year 1760, Dr. Burney returned to London 
with his wife and children, and took a house in 
Poland Street, where he renewed, under happy 
auspices, the acquaintance which, during his former 
residence in London, he had made with several of 
the most distinguished literary characters of his 
day. At this period, his eldest son James, after- 
wards Admiral Burney, had been sent to sea as a 
midshipman, in the ship of Admiral Montagu ; his 
second son, Charles, afterwards the celebrated 
Greek scholar, was still quite a child ; and his 
fourth daughter, Charlotte, was an infant. 

From this young family, for whom maternal 
care appeared so necessary, their affectionate 
mother was removed by death in the autumn of 
176 1. 3 During the latter period of her illness, 
Frances and her sister Susanna had been placed in 
a boarding-school in Queen Square, that they 
might be out of the way ; and when the sad 

1 Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 1832, ii. 170, 171. 

2 Christopher Pitt's translation of the JEneid appeared in 1740. He 
was the friend of Pope and Spence. 

3 September 28. 


intelligence of their loss was brought to them, the 
agony of Frances's grief was so great, though she 
was not more than nine years old, that her governess 
declared she had never met with a child of such 
intense and acute feelings. 

The bereaved father soon recalled his children 
home, and their education carried itself on, 
rather than owed its progress to any regular in- 
struction. Dr. Burney was too much occupied by 
his professional engagements to teach them, except 
by his own example of industry and perseverance. 
These were so great that he actually studied and 
acquired the French and Italian languages on 
horseback ; having for that purpose written out a 
pocket grammar and vocabulary of each. 

His son Charles was, at a proper age, sent to 
the Charter House School, but his daughters 
remained at home ; they had no governess, and 
though the eldest and the third, Esther and 
Susanna, were subsequently taken to France, 1 and 
placed for two years in a Parisian seminary, Frances 
shared not this advantage. Dr. Burney afterwards 
acknowledged that one reason which decided him 
against carrying her to France was her strong 
attachment to her maternal grandmother, who was 
a Roman Catholic. " He feared she might be 
induced to follow the religion of one whom she so 
much loved and honoured, if she should fall so 
early into the hands of any zealots who should 
attempt her conversion." She was, therefore, 
literally self-educated, and to use her own words, 
her sole emulation for improvement, and sole spur 
for exertion, were her unbounded veneration and 
affection for her father, "who, nevertheless, had 
not, at the time, a moment to spare for giving 
her any personal instruction ; or even for directing 
her pursuits." 

1 In June 1764. 


At ten years of age she could read, and with 
the occasional assistance of her eldest sister she 
had taught herself to write ; and no sooner had 
she acquired the latter accomplishment than she 
began to scribble, almost incessantly, little poems 
and works of invention, though in a character that 
was illegible to every one but herself. Her love 
of reading did not display itself till two or three 
years later ; thus practically reversing the axiom 

Authors before they write should read. 

But although the education of Dr. Burney's 
daughters was not conducted according to the 
elaborate systems of the present day, they yet 
enjoyed some advantages which more than I com- 
pensated for the absence of regular and salaried 
instructors. The sentiments and example of their 
father excited them to love whatever was upright, 
virtuous, and amiable ; while, from not being 
secluded in a schoolroom, they also shared the con- 
versation of their father's guests ; and, in London, 
Dr. Burney's miscellaneous but agreeable society 
included some of those most eminent for literature 
in our own country, together with many accom- 
plished foreigners, whose observations and criticisms 
were in themselves lessons. Perhaps the taste of 
Frances Burney was formed much in the same way 
as that of her celebrated contemporary, Madame 
de Stael, who relates that she used to sit with her 
work, on a little stool at her mother's knee, and 
listen to the conversation of all Monsieur Necker's 
enlightened visitors ; thus gathering notions on 
literature and politics long ere it was suspected 
that she knew the meaning of the words. 

If, however, the above methods were of them- 
selves sufficient for education, all good conversers 
might offer a " royal road " to learning. But the 


benefit here obtained was chiefly that of directing 
the attention to intellectual pursuits, enlightening 
the judgment, and exciting a thirst for knowledge 
which led the youthful Frances to diligent and 
laborious application. By the time she was four- 
teen she had carefully studied many of the best 
authors in her father's library, of which she had 
the uncontrolled range. She began also to make 
extracts, keeping a catalogue raisonne of the books 
she read ; and some of her early remarks were such 
as would not have disgraced a maturer judgment. 

Thus passed, not idly nor unprofitably, nearly 
six years after the death of that mother who would 
have been her best instructress. Dr. Burney then 
made another journey to Paris, for the purpose 
of conducting home his daughters, Esther and 
Susanna, whose allotted two years of education 
in that capital had expired. Their improvement 
had kept pace with their father's hopes and wishes, 
but he gave up his original plan of carrying Frances 
and Charlotte abroad on the return of their sisters : 
Susanna volunteered to instruct Fanny in French ; 
and they were all so enchanted to meet again, that 
perhaps Dr. Burney's parental kindness withheld 
him from proposing a new separation. 

On the first return of the youthful travellers, 1 
Susanna, who was then scarcely fourteen, wrote a 
sort of comparison between her two elder sisters, 
which, as it happens to have been preserved, and 
may in some measure illustrate their early char- 
acters, we will give verbatim. 

" Hetty seems a good deal more lively than she 
used to appear at Paris ; whether it is that her 
spirits are better, or that the great liveliness of the 
inhabitants made her appear grave there by com- 
parison, I know not : but she was there remarkable 
for being serieuse, and is here for being gay and 

1 In 1767. 


lively. She is a most sweet girl. My sister Fanny 
is unlike her in almost everything, yet both are 
very amiable, and love each other as sincerely as 
ever sisters did. The characteristics of Hetty seem 
to be wit, generosity, and openness of heart ; 
Fanny's, — sense, sensibility, and bashfulness, and 
even a degree of prudery. Her understanding is 
superior, but her diffidence gives her a bashfulness 
before company with whom she is not intimate, 
which is a disadvantage to her. My eldest sister 
shines in conversation, because, though very modest, 
she is totally free from any mauvaise honte : were 
Fanny equally so, I am persuaded she would shine 
no less. I am afraid that my eldest sister is too 
communicative, and that my sister Fanny is too 
reserved. They are both charming girls — desfilles 
comme il y en a peu" 1 

Veu^ soon after his return from Paris, an im- 
portant change took place in Dr. Burney's domestic 
circle, by his forming a second matrimonial con- 
nection, and bringing home to his family as their 
mother-in-law, 2 Mrs. Stephen Allen, the widow of 
a Lynn merchant, and herself the parent of several 
children who had been friends and playmates of 
the young Burneys. 3 Both families were pleased 
at this reunion ; a larger house was taken, in Queen 
Square, that they might all reside under the same 
roof, — although this dwelling was afterwards 
exchanged for a house in St. Martin's Street ; and 
the new Mrs. Burney, who was herself highly in- 
tellectual, entered with intelligent delight into the 
literary circle which formed the solace and refresh- 
ment of her husband. 

1 In Letter lxv. of Evelina, Miss Burney, applying this locution to 
Lord Orville, attributes it to Marmontel. 

2 Stepmother. But "mother-in-law" for "stepmother," according to 
Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1903, is still in general colloquial use. 
- 3 Dr. Burney's second marriage took place at St. James's, Westminster, 
in October 1767. 


Among those friends who were accustomed to 
assemble round their tea-table, or to enliven their 
simple early supper, were, Sir Robert and Lady 
Strange, — the former so well known for his admir- 
able engravings, and his lady for her strong sense 
and original humour ; Dr. Hawkes worth, the worthy 
and learned editor of Byron's and Cook's First 
Voyages ; Garrick, and his amiable wife, the friend 
of Hannah More ; Barry, the painter, whose works 
still adorn the Adelphi ; Mr. Twining, the trans- 
lator of Aristotle ; Mason, the poet; Mr. Greville 
and his lady, the latter celebrated as the authoress 
of the beautiful " Ode to Indifference " ; Dr. Arm- 
strong ; Arthur Young, the agriculturist, who had 
married a sister of Mrs. Burney's ; John Hutton, 
the Moravian ; the musical and clever La Trobes, 
and Nollekens, the sculptor. To these might be 
added many others of equal or superior celebrity, 
who formed part of Dr. Burney's society, as time 
and circumstances brought them within his reach. 

But the companion and counsellor who was 
dearest to himself, and most loved and honoured 
by his youthful group, was Mr. Crisp. This gentle- 
man, several years older than Dr. Burney, had been 
to him a " Guide, Philosopher, and Friend " in early 
life ; they had then been separated in consequence 
of Mr. Crisp's residing on the Continent during 
several years, but when they again met, their 
intimacy was renewed with a cordiality and delight 
that only ended with life. 

At this time Mr. Crisp had given up the world, 
in consequence of various losses, diminished for- 
tune, and disappointed hopes ; and he had fixed 
his dwelling in an old-fashioned country house, 
called Chessington Hall, not far from Kingston in 
Surrey, and within a few miles from Hampton. 
This mansion stood upon a large and nearly desolate 
common, and not a road or even a track led to it 


from Epsom, which was the nearest town. It was 
encircled by ploughed fields, and one-half of the 
building was inhabited by a farmer ; while in the 
remaining portion dwelt the proprietor, Christopher 
Hamilton, Esq., with whom Mr. Crisp had adopted 
some picnic plan, which enabled him to consider 
Chessington as his decided residence. At the 
death of Mr. Hamilton, the house, which was then 
his only property, devolved to his maiden sister, 
Mrs. Hamilton, who, with her niece, Miss Kitty 
Cooke, continued to receive Mr. Crisp as an inmate, 
and to admit other persons as occasional boarders. 1 

This independent method of visiting his friend, 
and of obtaining country air and exercise for his 
children, exactly suited the views of Dr. Burney, 
and they all in turn, or in groups, enjoyed the 
society of their Chessington Daddy, as they 
familiarly called Mr. Crisp ; while he was indul- 
gent to all their youthful vagaries, and amused 
with observing their different characters. 

Among those who most frequently availed 
themselves of Mrs. Hamilton's arrangement was 
Mrs. Gast, the sister of Mr. Crisp, who, whenever 
she quitted her house at Burford, in order to visit 
her brother, failed not to enhance the pleasure of 
the Chessington meetings by her good sense and 
kind nature, added to a considerable degree of 

But whatever might offer itself of occupation or 
amusement, Fanny continued secretly, yet per- 
severingly, her own literary attempts. When in 
London she used to write in a little playroom up 
two pair of stairs, 2 which contained the toys of the 

1 Chessington Hall was pulled down in 1832, and a new building was 
erected in its place. The grounds, however, remain much the same as of 
old, and are carefully preserved by the Chancellor family, the present 

2 This was probably in Queen Square, as it scarcely describes the 
Newton Observatory in St. Martin's Street, where she says she wrote in 
1774 {Early Diary of Frances Burney, 1889, i. 304). 


younger children. At Lynn, to which place the 
doctor's family paid annual visits, she would shut 
herself up in a summer-house which they called 
The Cabin, and there unburden her mind, by writ- 
ing the tales and compositions with which her 
fancy abounded. 1 

To none but her sister Susanna was the secret 
of this authorship confided ; and even she could 
seldom hear or read these productions, for want of 
private opportunities by which she might avoid 
betraying them to others. 

Notwithstanding all these precautions, the 
vigilant eye of their mother-in-law was not long 
in discovering Fanny's love of seclusion, her scraps 
of writing, and other tokens of her favourite em- 
ployment, which excited no small alarm in her. 

Perhaps if she had desired to see the little 
manuscripts she might have perceived in them traces 
of genius worth encouraging ; but while her deli- 
cacy prevented such investigation, her good sense, 
acting upon general principles, led her to inveigh 
very frequently and seriously against the evil of a 
scribbling turn in young ladies — the loss of time, 
the waste of thought, in idle, crude inventions — and 
the (at that time) utter discredit of being known 
as a female writer of novels and romances. 

Whatever conviction these strictures may have 
produced, they at least so wrought upon Fanny's 
sense of duty and obedience, that she resolved to 
make an auto da fe of all her manuscripts, and, if 
possible, to throw away her pen. Seizing, there- 
fore, an opportunity when Dr. and Mrs. Burney 
were from home, she made over to a bonfire in a 
paved play - court her whole stock of prose com- 
positions, while her faithful Susanna stood by, 
weeping at the conflagration. Among the works 
thus immolated, was one tale of considerable length, 

1 The Cabin is referred to in the Early Diary, 1889, i. 11, 12, 13. 


the " History of Caroline Evelyn," the mother of 

This sacrifice was made in the young authoress's 
fifteenth year, and for some weeks she probably 
adhered to her resolution of composing no more 
works of fiction, and began, perhaps as a less 
objectionable employment, the Journal which she 
continued during so many years. But the perennial 
fountain could not be restrained ; her imagination 
was haunted by the singular situations to which 
Caroline Evelyn's infant daughter might be ex- 
posed, from the unequal birth by which she hung 
suspended between the elegant connections of her 
mother, and the vulgar ones of her grandmother ; 
thus presenting contrasts and mixtures of society 
so unusual, yet, under the supposed circumstances, 
so natural, that irresistibly, and almost uncon- 
sciously, the whole story of Evelina : or, A Young 
Ladys Entrance into the World, was pent up in 
the inventor's memory, ere a paragraph was com- 
mitted to paper. 

Writing was to her always more difficult than 
composing, because her time and her pen found 
ample employment in transcribing for her father, 
who was occupied at every spare moment with 
preparations for his great work, The General 
History of Music. 

In the summer of 1770, Fanny obtained several 
months of leisure for her own studies and com- 
positions, as Dr. Burney then set out on a solitary 
tour through France and Italy, for the purpose of 
collecting materials for his History ; but, on his 
return in the spring of 1771, 1 she was employed as 
his principal amanuensis, in preparing the minutes 
of his tour for the press. All his daughters, how- 
ever, shared in this service, copying his numerous 
manuscripts, tracing over and over again the same 

1 Dr. Burney returned in January. 


page when his nicety of judgment suggested fresh 
alterations ; while their patient and affectionate 
assiduity brought its own reward, in the extension 
of knowledge and improvement of taste which 
accrued from such labours. 

Dr. Burney's Italian Tour was no sooner pub- 
lished 1 than he set out on another journey, for the 
same purpose of musical research, in Germany and 
the Low Countries. His family resided during his 
absence at Lynn and at Chessington, where Fanny 
gradually arranged and connected the disjointed 
scraps and fragments in which Evelina had been 
originally written, whenever a quarter of an hour's 
leisure and solitude had allowed her thus to pre- 
serve the creations of her fancy. She mentions, 
with great naivete, in her Lynn Journal, that she 
never indulged herself with writing or reading 
except in the afternoon ; 2 always scrupulously 
devoting her time to needlework till after dinner. 
As, however, the hours of repast were somewhat 
earlier in those days than at present, this notable 
self-denial may only have sent her to her favourite 
pursuits with fresh vigour. 

The arrival of her father from Germany turned 
her thoughts into another channel ; as a long and 
painful illness, which Dr. Burney owed to the 
fatigues and difficulties of a hurried journey, called 
for the " incessant assiduity of his fondly attached 
wife and daughters to nurse him through it." 
Even then, when confined to his bed by spasmodic 
rheumatism, he generally kept one of his daughters 
seated near him, pen in hand, that, during the 
intervals of suffering, he might dictate the ideas 
which occurred to him for his musical work ; and 
perhaps the example of such literary perseverance 
was a stimulus that amply compensated for the 
hindrance it occasioned. 

1 In May 1771. 2 Early Diary, 1889, i. 14. 


After the Doctor's recovery, some years still 
elapsed before he was able to execute his plan ; and 
it was not till the year 1776 that he brought out 
the first volume of his History of Music. 1 During 
all this period of literary occupation and anxiety, it 
is not surprising that his daughter, gifted, though 
unconsciously, with equal powers, should, even in 
sympathy with her father's feelings, be seized with 
a wish to see a work of her own also in print ; 
though she was far from desiring the public suffrage 
which he coveted ; on the contrary, she fully in- 
tended always to remain unknown. 

She communicated this idea to her sisters, under 
promise of inviolable secrecy ; and, in furtherance 
of the project, she now transcribed the manuscript 
of Evelina, in an upright feigned hand ; for, as she 
was her father's amanuensis, she feared lest her 
common writing might accidentally be seen by 
some compositor employed in printing the History 
of Music, and so lead to detection. 

Growing weary, however, of this manual labour, 
after she had thus prepared the first and second 
volumes, she wrote a letter, without signature, 
offering the unfinished work to Mr. Dodsley, and 
promising to send the sequel in the following year. 
This letter was forwarded by the post, with a 
request that the answer might be directed to a 
coffee-house. 2 

Her younger brother, Charles, though without 
reading a word of the manuscript, accepted a share 
in the frolic, and undertook to be her agent at the 
coffee-house and with the bookseller. But Mr. 
Dodsley declined looking at anything anonymous ; 
and the young group, "after sitting in committee 
on this lofty reply," next fixed upon Mr. Lowndes, 

1 The German Tour had been published in May 1773, and contained 
detailed " Proposals " for the History of Music. 

2 The Orange Coffee House in the Haymarket, not very far from Dr. 
Burney's house in St. Martin's Street. 


a bookseller in the City l — who desired to see the 
manuscript ; and shortly after it had been conveyed 
to him, signified in a letter to the unknown author, 
that he could not publish an unfinished book, 
though he liked the work ; but he should be 
ready to purchase and print it when it should 
be completed. 

Disappointed at this stipulation, reasonable as it 
was, the inexperienced authoress was on the point 
of giving up her scheme altogether ; and yet, as 
she has herself observed, "to be thwarted on the 
score of our inclination, acts more frequently as a 
spur than as a bridle " ; 2 so that, ere another year 
could pass away, she had almost involuntarily com- 
pleted and transcribed her third volume. 

But, during the hesitation occasioned by the de- 
mand of Mr. Lowndes, another difficulty occurred, 
for she felt a conscientious scruple whether it 
would be right to allow herself such an amusement 
unknown to her father. She had never taken any 
important step without his sanction, and had now 
refrained from asking it through confusion at 
acknowledging her authorship and dread of his 
desiring to see her performance. However, in this, 
as in every instance during her life, she no sooner 
saw what was her duty, than she honestly per- 
formed it. Seizing, therefore, an opportunity 
when her father was bidding her a kind farewell, 
preparatory to a Chessington visit, she avowed to 
him, with many blushes, " her secret little work ; 
and her odd inclination to see it in print ; " 3 adding, 
that her brother Charles would transact the affair 
with a bookseller at a distance, so that her name 
could never transpire, and only entreating that he 
would not himself ask to see the manuscript. " His 

1 Thomas Lowndes, of 77 Fleet Street. 

2 Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 1832, ii. 129. 

3 Ibid. ii. 130. 


amazement was * even ' surpassed by his amuse- 
ment ; and his laugh was so gay, that, revived by 
its cheering sound, she lost all her fears and 
embarrassment, and heartily joined in it ; though 
somewhat at the expense of her new author-like 
dignity." 1 

Dr. Burney thought her project as innocent as 
it was whimsical, and kindly embracing her, en- 
joined her to be careful in guarding her own incog- 
nita, and then dropped the subject without even 
asking the name of her book. 

With heightened spirits she now forwarded the 
packet to Mr. Lowndes, who, in a few days, signi- 
fied his approbation, and sent an offer of twenty 
pounds for the manuscript : — " An offer which was 
accepted with alacrity ; and boundless surprise at 
its magnificence ! " 2 

In the ensuing January 1778, Evelina was pub- 
lished ; a fact which only became known to its 
writer from her hearing the newspaper advertise- 
ment read accidentally at breakfast-time, by her 
mother-in-law, Mrs. Burney. 3 

And here we gladly suspend this attempt at 
introducing to the public the Memoirs of Madame 
D'Arblay. From this period till her marriage her 
Journal contains a minute and animated narrative 
of all that the reader can wish to know concerning 
her. He was entreated to bear in mind that it was 
originally intended for no eye but her own, though 
she afterwards extended the privilege to her sisters, 
to Mr. Crisp, and to Mrs. Locke ; making, for 
these trusted friends, as she has herself expressed 
it, " a window in her breast," yet disclosing, in the 

1 Memoirs of Dr. Burney, ii. 131. 2 Ibid. ii. 132. 

3 See note to p. 9. Mrs. Barrett follows the Memoirs of Br. Burney, 
ii. 132. Upon those Memoirs she seems to have mainly relied, though 
some of her quotations are not textual. Where they have been exactly 
verified, their source has been given. 



simplicity of her ingenuous confidence, such undevi- 
ating uprightness of character, such unhackneyed 
nobleness of feeling, that now, when she is removed 
far above the reach of embarrassment or pain 
from this publication, it cannot be derogatory to 
her beloved memory to make known her inmost 
thoughts, as far as she has left them recorded ; 
while it might be unjust to withhold the lessons 
conveyed incidentally, not only by traits of filial 
duty and generous self-denial in the historian her- 
self, but by the picture she exhibits of domestic 
virtues in the most exalted rank, and of sound 
discretion, united with humble faith and pious 
resignation, under the most painful and trying cir- 
cumstances — such as she witnessed and deeply 
venerated in her august Royal Mistress. 

To those personal friends of Madame D'Arblay 
whose affection for her may render them jealous of 
any apparent deviation from her intentions, it may 
be satisfactory to state, that in her latter years, 
when all her juvenile adventures seemed to her " as 
a tale that is told," and when she could dwell, 
sadly yet submissively, on recollections of deeper 
interest, she herself arranged these Journals and 
Papers with the most scrupulous care ; affixing to 
them such explanations as would make them intel- 
ligible to her successors — avowing a hope that 
some instruction might be derived from them — 
and finally, in her last hours, consigning them to 
the editor, with full permission to publish whatever 
might be judged desirable for that purpose, and 
with no negative injunction, except one, which has 
been scrupulously obeyed, viz. : that whatever 
might be effaced or omitted, nothing should in 
anywise be altered or added to her records. 


To have some account of my thoughts, manners, 
acquaintance, and actions, when the hour arrives 
at which time is more nimble than memory, is the 
reason which induces me to keep a Journal — a 
Journal in which, I must confess, my every 
thought must open my whole heart. 

But a thing of the kind ought to be addressed 
to somebody — I must imagine myself to be talk- 
ing — talking to the most intimate of friends — to 
one in whom I should take delight in confiding, 
and feel remorse in concealment ; but who must 
this friend be ? To make choice of one in whom 
I can but half rely, would be to frustrate entirely 
the intention of my plan. The only one I could 
wholly, totally confide in, lives in the same house 
with me, and not only never has, but never will, 
leave me one secret to tell her. To whom then 
must I dedicate my wonderful, surprising, and 
interesting adventures ? — to whom dare I reveal 
my private opinion of my nearest relations ? my 
secret thoughts of my dearest friends ? my own 
hopes, fears, reflections, and dislikes ? — Nobody. 

To Nobody, then, will I write my Journal ! 
since to Nobody can I be wholly unreserved, to 
Nobody can I reveal every thought, every wish of 
my heart, with the most unlimited confidence, 
the most unremitting sincerity, to the end of my 
life ! For what chance, what accident, can end 

1 See facsimile at p. 20. 


my connections with Nobody ? No secret can I 
conceal from Nobody, and to Nobody can I be 
ever unreserved. Disagreement cannot stop our 
affection — time itself has no power to end our 
friendship. The love, the esteem, I entertain for 
Nobody, Nobody's self has not power to destroy. 
From Nobody I have nothing to fear. The secrets 
sacred to friendship Nobody will not reveal ; when 
the affair is doubtful, Nobody will not look towards 
the side least favourable. 

[The above are the opening passages of Miss Burney's Diary, 
which she commenced at the age of fifteen years. They are 
given because they express in the writer's own words her design 
and objects in undertaking a task the results of which are now 
about to be laid before the world. 

That portion of the Diary which intervenes between the 
above-named period and the publication of Evelina (in 1778) it 
has been thought right to withhold, — at least for the present ; — 
for though it is, to the family and friends of the writer, quite as 
full of interest as the subsequent portions, the interest is of a 
more private and personal nature than that which attaches to 
the Journal after its writer became universally known as the 
authoress of Evelina, Cecilia, etc. 

Whether the more juvenile portions of the Journal see the 
light hereafter or not, 1 will in some measure depend on the 
temper in which the portions now offered may be received by 
the public. In the meantime, it should be mentioned that 
after Miss Burney had for some years addressed her Journal as 
above (to " Nobody " ) — when its topics began to assume a 
more general and public interest, she changed this rather 
embarrassing feature of her plan, and addressed these records of 
her life and thoughts to her beloved sister, Miss Susan Burney 
(afterwards Mrs. Phillips), and occasionally to her accomplished 
and venerated friend, Mr. Crisp, of Chessington, — to whom the 
packets were forwarded respectively, from time to time, as 
opportunities offered (Mrs. Barrett's note)]. 

1 These portions have since been published in two volumes, under the 
title of The Early Diary of Frances Burney, 1768-78, with a Selection 
from her Correspondence, and from the Journals of her Sisters, Stisan and 
Charlotte Burney. Edited by [Mrs.] Annie Raine Ellis. London : 
George Bell and Sons, 1889. 

fa >< 

<! M^N^Jii^ 

' h^ s nil , , 

^ ^ Vs ^ i^ ^ i 

>> o 



The publication of Evelina — Its designs and objects — Secrecy 
of its publication — Letter from the publisher — Alarm of 
the writer at being known — Awkward predicament — 
Critiques on Evelina — Mr. Crisp — Evelina read by Dr. 
Burney — His discovery of its author — Dr. Johnson — 
Letters from Miss Burney to her father — Mrs. Thrale — 
Astonishing success of Evelina — Disclosure of its author- 
ship to her mother — Mrs. Cholmondeley — Mrs. Thrale — 
Mr. Lowndes — Letters from Miss Burney to her sister — 
Dr. Johnson — Miss Burney's feelings on her unlooked-for 
success as an authoress — Guesses as to the writer of 
Evelina — Diary resumed — Dr. Burney acquaints Mrs. 
Thrale with the secret — Singular position of the writer 
— Letter of Mrs. Thrale — Madame Riccoboni — Dr. John- 
son reads Evelina — His opinion of it — Anna Williams — 
Invitation to Streatham — The author's alarm at tmeeting 
the literary circle there — Great profits of the publisher — 
First visit to Streatham — Her reception by the Thrales — 
Mrs. Thrale's admiration of Evelina — She describes Dr. 
Johnson's imitating characters in Evelina — Mr. Seward — 
First introduction to Dr. Johnson — His conversation — 
Garrick — His prologues and epilogues — Garrick and Wilkes 
— Wear and tear of the face — Sir John Hawkins — An 
" unclubable man " — A mean couple — Sir Joshua Reynolds 
— He sits up all night to read Evelina — Miss Burney visits 
Mr. Lowndes — His account of the author of Evelina — Secret 
history — Letters from Mr. Crisp — Anecdote of Quin the 

This year was ushered in by a grand and most 
important event ! At the latter end of January 
the literary world was favoured with the first 



publication of the ingenious, learned, and most 
profound Fanny Burney ! I doubt not but this 
memorable affair will, in future times, mark the 
period whence chronologers will date the zenith of 
the polite arts in this island ! 

This admirable authoress has named her most 
elaborate performance, Evelina: or, a Young Lady s 
Entrance into the World. 1 

Perhaps this may seem a rather bold attempt 
and title, for a female whose knowledge of the 
world is very confined, and whose inclinations, as 
well as situation, incline her to a private and 
domestic life. All I can urge is, that I have 
only presumed to trace the accidents and adven- 
tures to which a " young woman " is liable ; I have 
not pretended to show the world what it actually 
is, but what it appears to a girl of seventeen : and 
so far as that, surely any girl who is past seven- 
teen 2 may safely do ? The motto of my excuse 
shall be taken from Pope's Temple of Fame : — 

In every work, regard the writer's end ; 

None e'er can compass more than they intend. 3 

[About the middle of January my cousin 
Edward brought me a parcel, under the name of 
Grafton. I had, some little time before, acquainted 
both my aunts 4 of my frolic. They will, I am 
sure, be discreet ; indeed, I exacted a vow from 
them of strict secrecy ; and they love me with 
such partial kindness that I have a pleasure in 
reposing much confidence in them. 

1 It was advertised in the London Chronicle for January 27-29 as on 
sale in 3 vols. 12mo, 9s. bound ; 7s. 6d. sewed. The sub-title was 
subsequently altered to The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the 

2 This conclusively proves, what indeed is clear from the Preface to 
Evelina itself, that Miss Burney had no intention of suggesting that the 
book was written by her at the age of seventeen. 

3 Essay on Criticism, 11. 255, 256. 

4 Dr. Burney's sisters, one of whom was named Anne. 


I immediately conjectured what the parcel was, 
and found the following letter : — 

To Mr. Grafton 

To be left at the Orange Coffee House. 

Sir — I take the liberty to send you a novel, 
which a gentleman, your acquaintance, said you 
would hand to him. I beg with expedition, as 'tis 
time it should be published, and 'tis requisite he 
should first revise it, or the reviewers may find a 
flaw. — I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

Thomas Lowndes. 

Fleet Street, Jan. 7, 1778. 

My aunt, now, would take no denial to my 
reading it to them, in order to mark errata ; and — 
to cut the matter short, I was compelled to 
communicate the affair to my cousin Edward, and 
then to obey their commands. 

Of course, they were all prodigiously charmed 
with it. My cousin now became my agent, a 
deputy to Charles, with Mr. Lowndes, and when I 
had made the errata, carried it to him. 

The book, however, was not published till the 
latter end of the month. 1 ] A thousand little odd 
incidents happened about this time, but I am not 
in a humour to recollect them ; however, they 
were none of them productive of a discovery 
either to my father or mother. 

[My little book, I am told, is now at all the 
circulating libraries. I have an exceeding odd 
sensation, when I consider that it is now in the 
power of any and every body to read what I so 
carefully hoarded even, from my best friends, till 
this last month or two ; and that a work which 

1 For explanation of this and the similar passages between square 
brackets which follow, see Preface. 


was so lately lodged, in all privacy, in my bureau, 
may now be seen by every butcher and baker, 
cobbler and tinker, throughout the three kingdoms, 
for the small tribute of threepence. 1 ] 

My Aunt Anne and Miss Humphries 2 being 
settled at this time at Brompton, I was going 
thither with Susan to tea, when Charlotte 3 
acquainted me that they were then employed in 
reading Evelina to the invalid, my cousin Richard. 
[My sister had recommended it to Miss Hum- 
phries, and my aunts and Edward 4 agreed they 
would read it, but without mentioning anything 
of the author.] 

This intelligence gave me the utmost uneasiness 
— I foresaw a thousand dangers of a discovery — I 
dreaded the indiscreet warmth of all my confi- 
dants. In truth, I was quite sick with apprehension, 
and was too uncomfortable to go to Brompton, 
and Susan carried my excuses. 

Upon her return I was somewhat tranquillised, 
for she assured me that there was not the smallest 
suspicion of the author, and that they had con- 
cluded it to be the work of a man! [and 
Miss Humphries, who read it aloud to Richard, 
said several things in its commendation, and 
concluded them by exclaiming, " It's a thousand 
pities the author should lie concealed." 

Finding myself more safe than I had appre- 
hended, I ventured to go to Brompton next day. 
In my way upstairs I heard Miss Humphries in 
the midst of Mr. Villars' letter of consolation upon 
Sir John Belmont's rejection of his daughter ; and 
just as I entered the room she cried out, "How 
pretty that is ! " 

1 A penny a volume, — the circulating library fee. 

2 A lady from Worcester. 

3 See Editor's Introduction, p. 5, as to Susan and Charlotte. 

4 Edward and Richard were sons of Dr. Burney's brother, Richard 
Burney of Worcester. 


How much in luck would she have thought 
herself had she known who heard her ! 

In a private confabulation which I had with my 
Aunt Anne, she told me a thousand things that 
had been said in its praise, and assured me they 
had not for a moment doubted that the work 
was a mans. 

[Comforted and made easy by these assurances, 
I longed for the diversion of hearing their observa- 
tions, and, therefore (though rather mat a propos), 
after I had been near two hours in the room, I 
told Miss Humphries that I was afraid I had 
interrupted her, and begged she would go on with 
what she was reading. 

"Why," cried she, taking up the book, "we 
have been prodigiously entertained," and very 
readily she continued.] 

I must own I suffered great difficulty in re- 
fraining from laughing upon several occasions, — 
and several times, when they praised what they 
read, I was upon the point of saying, "You are 
very good ! " and so forth, and I could scarcely 
keep myself from making acknowledgments, and 
bowing my head involuntarily. However, I got 
off perfectly safe. 

[Monday. — Susan and I went to tea at Bromp- 
ton. We met Miss Humphries coming to town. 
She told us she had just finished Evelina, and gave 
us to understand that she could not get away until 
she had done it. We heard afterwards from my 
aunt the most flattering praises, and Richard 
could talk of nothing else. His encomiums gave 
me double pleasure from being wholly unexpected, 
for I had prepared myself to hear that he held it 
extremely cheap. And I was yet more satisfied 
because I was sure they were sincere, as he con- 
vinced me that he had not the most distant idea 
of suspicion, by finding great fault with Evelina 


herself for her bashfuhiess with such a man as 
Lord Orville. 

I could have answered him that he ought to 
consider the original character of Evelina — that 
she had been brought up in the strictest retire- 
ment ; that she knew nothing of the world, and 
only acted from the impulses of nature ; and that 
her timidity always prevented her from daring to 
hope that Lord Orville was seriously attached to 
her. In short, I could have bid him read the 
Preface again, where she is called "the offspring of 
Nature, and of Nature in her simplest attire." But 
I feared appearing too well acquainted with the 
book, and I rejoiced that an unprejudiced reader 
should make no weightier objection.] 

It seems, to my utter amazement, Miss Hum- 
phries has guessed the author to be Anstey, who 
wrote the Bath Guide ! l How improbable and 
how extraordinary a supposition ! But they have 
both of them done it so much honour that, but for 
Richard's anger at Evelina's bashfulness, I never 
could believe they did not suspect me. [I never 
went to Brompton without finding the third 
volume in Richard's hands ; he speaks of all the 
characters as if they were his acquaintance, and 
praises different parts perpetually. Both he and 
Miss Humphries seem to have it by heart, for it is 
always a propos to whatever is the subject of 
discourse, and their whole conversation almost 
consists of quotations from it. 

As Richard's recovery seemed now confirmed, his 
Worcester friends grew impatient to see him, and 
he fixed upon Tuesday to leave town, to the great 
regret of us all, glad as we were that he was able 
to make the journey. Sunday, therefore, was 
settled for his making a last visit at our house, 

1 Christopher Anstey's New Bath Guide: or, the Memoirs of the 
B-r-d Family, had been published in 1766. 


that he might again see my father and try his own 

I now grew very uneasy, lest Miss Humphries 
and Richard should speak of the book to my 
mother, and lest she should send for it to read, 
upon their recommendation ; for I could not bear 
to think of the danger I should run from my own 
consciousness, and various other causes, if the book 
were brought into the house. I therefore went on 
Saturday morning to consult with my aunt at 
Brompton. She advised, nay, besought, me to tell 
them the real state of the case at once, but I 
could not endure to do that, and so, after 
much pondering, I at last determined to take 
my chance. 

Richard, in handing me some macaroons, chose 
to call them macaronies, and said, " Come, Miss 
Fanny, you must have some of these — they are all 
Sir Clement Willoughbys, — all in the highest style, — 
and I am sure to be like him, will recommend 
them to you, for his must be a very favourite 
character with you ; a character in the first style, 
give me leave to assure you." l 

March 30. — I have just received a letter from 
my dear Charles, in which he informs me that he 
has subscribed to a circulating library at Reading, 
and then he adds : " I am to have Evelina to-day ; 
the man told me it was spoken very highly of, and 
very much inquired after ; that, as yet, there had 
been no critique upon it, but that it was thought 
one of the best publications we have had for a long 

As to a critique, it is with fear and fidgets I 
await it. Next Wednesday I expect to be in one 

1 From some detached passages of Fanny's papers, printed by Mrs. 
Ellis {Early Diary, 1889, ii. 219), it seems that the secret was revealed to 
Richard Burney before he left London for Worcester. 


of the reviews. — O heavens ! what should I do if 
I were known, for I have very little doubt I shall 
be horribly mauled. 


I will copy the Monthly Review of my book ; 
in the Critical I have not yet appeared. 1 

But hold, first in order comes the London 
Review for February 1778 by W. Kenrick. 2 

Evelina — The history of a young lady exposed to very critical 
situations. There is much more merit, as well respecting style, 
character and incident, than is usually to be met with among our 
modern novels. 

From the Moiithly Review for April 1778. 

Evelina : or a young Lady's Entrance into the World. — This 
novel has given us so much pleasure in the perusal, that we do 
not hesitate to pronounce it one of the most sprightly, entertain- 
ing, and agreeable productions of this kind which has of late 
fallen under our notice. A great variety of natural incidents, 
some of the comic stamp, render the narrative extremely 
interesting. The characters, which are agreeably diversified, are 
conceived and drawn with propriety, and supported with spirit. 
The whole is written with great ease, and command of language. 
From this commendation, however, we must except the 
character of a son of Neptune, whose manners are rather those 
of a rough, uneducated country 'Squire, than those of a genuine 


Chessington, June 18. 

Here I am, and here I have been this age ; 
though too weak to think of journalising ; 3 how- 
ever, as I never had so many curious anecdotes to 
record, I will not — at least this year, the first of 

1 The Critical Review did not notice the book until September. 

2 Dr. William Kenrick, 1725-79, the " Kenrick " of Goldsmith's Retalia- 
tion, 11. 86 and 115, and the " envious Kenrick " of Macaulay's Essay on 
Mme. D'Arblay, 1843. This, and the following review, have been verified 
from the originals. 

3 She had just recovered from inflammation of the lungs, and had come 
to Chessington to recruit. 


my appearing in public — give up my favourite old 

I came hither the first week in May. My 
recovery from that time to this has been slow and 
sure, but as I could walk hardly three yards in a 
day at first, I found so much time to spare that 
I could not resist treating myself with a little 
private sport with Evelina, a young lady whom, 
I think, I have some right to make free with. 
I had promised Hetty l that she should read it to 
Mr. Crisp, 2 at her own particular request ; but I 
wrote my excuses and introduced it myself. 

I told him it was a book which Hetty had 
taken to Brompton to divert my cousin Richard 
during his confinement. He was so indifferent 
about it that I thought he would not give him- 
self the trouble to read it, and often embarrassed 
me by unlucky questions, such as, "If it was 
reckoned clever ? " and " What I thought of it ? " 
and " Whether folks laughed at it ? " I always 
evaded any direct or satisfactory answer, but he 
was so totally free from any idea of suspicion that 
my perplexity escaped his notice. 

At length he desired me to begin reading to 
him. I dared not trust my voice with the little 
introductory ode, for as that is no romance, but 
the sincere effusion of my heart, I could as soon 
read aloud my own letters, written in my own 
name and character : I therefore skipped it, and 
have so kept the book out of his sight that, to 
this day, he knows not it is there. Indeed, I 
have since heartily repented that I read any of 
the book to him, for I found it a much more 
awkward thing than I had expected : my voice 
quite faltered when I began it, which, however, I 

1 Esther or Hetty Burney, Fanny's elder sister, at this time married to 
Charles Rousseau Burney of Worcester, her cousin, and a musician. 

2 Samuel Crisp, see Editor's Introduction, p. 10. 


passed off for the effect of remaining weakness of 
lungs, and, in short, from an invincible embarrass- 
ment, which I could not for a page together re- 
press, the book, by my reading, lost all manner of 

Nevertheless, though he has by no means 
treated it with the praise so lavishly bestowed 
upon it from other quarters, I had the satisfaction 
to observe that he was even greedily eager to go 
on with it, so that I flatter myself the story 
caught his attention : and, indeed, allowing for my 
mauling reading, he gave it quite as much credit 
as I had any reason to expect. But, now that I 
was sensible of my error in being my own mistress 
of the ceremonies, I determined to leave to Hetty 
the third volume, and therefore pretended I had 
not brought it. He was in a delightful ill humour 
about it, and I enjoyed his impatience far more 
than I should have done his forbearance. Hetty, 
therefore, when she comes, has undertaken to 
bring it. 

I have had a visit from my beloved Susy, who, 
with my mother and little Sally, 1 spent a day here, 
to my no small satisfaction ; and yet I was put 
into an embarrassment, of which I even yet know 
not what will be the end, during their short stay : 
for Mr. Crisp, before my mother, very innocently 
said to Susan, " Oh, pray Susette, do send me the 
third volume of Evelina ; Fanny brought me the 
two first on purpose, I believe, to tantalise me." 

I felt myself in a ferment; and Susan, too, 
looked foolish, and knew not what to answer. As 
I sat on the same sofa with him, I gave him a 
gentle shove, as a token, which he could not but 
understand, that he had said something wrong — 

1 Sarah Harriet Burney, Dr. Burney's daughter by his second wife, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Allen. 


though I believe he could not imagine what. 
Indeed, how should he ? 

Mymother instantly darted forward, and repeated, 
" Evelina — what's that, pray ? " 

Again I jolted Mr. Crisp, who, very much per- 
plexed, said, in a boggling manner, that it was a 
novel — he supposed from the circulating library — 
" only a trumpery novel." 

Ah, my dear daddy ! thought I, you would have 
devised some other sort of speech, if you knew all ! 
— but he was really, as he well might be, quite at 
a loss for what I wanted him to say. 

[" You have had it here, then, have you ? " con- 
tinued my mother. 

" Yes — two of the volumes," said Mr. Crisp. 

" What ! had you them from the library ? " 
asked my mother. 

"No, ma'am," answered I, horribly frightened, 
" from my sister." 

The truth is, the books are Susan's, who bought 
them the first day of publication ; but I did not 
dare own that, as it would have been almost an 
acknowledgment of all the rest. 

She asked some further questions, to which we 
made the same sort of answers, and then the matter 
dropped. Whether it rests upon her mind or not 
I cannot tell. 

Susan and I were next forced to exert our wits 
for some excuse to Mr. Crisp for my checking him.] 

Two days after I received from Charlotte a 
letter, the most interesting that could be written to 
me, for it acquainted me that my dear father was, 
at length, reading my book, which has now been 
published six months. 

How this has come to pass I am yet in the 
dark ; but it seems the very moment almost that 
my mother and Susan and Sally left the house, he 
desired Charlotte to bring him the Monthly Review ; 


she contrived to look over his shoulder as he opened 
it, which he did at the account of Evelina ; or, a 
Young Ladys Entrance into the World. He read 
it with great earnestness, then put it down ; and 
presently after snatched it up, and read it again. 
Doubtless his paternal heart felt some agitation for 
his girl in reading a review of her publication ! — 
how he got at the name I cannot imagine. 

Soon after he turned to Charlotte, and bidding 
her come close to him, he put his finger on the 
word Evelina, and saying, she knew what it was, 
bade her write down the name, and send the man 
to Lowndes, as if for herself. This she did, and 
away went William. 

[He then told Charlotte that he had never known 
the name of it till the day before. 'Tis strange 
how he got at it. He added that I had come off 
vastly well in this review, except for the Captain} 
Charlotte told him it had also been in Kenrick's 
review, and he desired her to copy out for him 
what was said in both of them. He asked her, 
too, whether I had mentioned the work was by 
a lady ?] 

When William returned he took the books from 
him, and the moment he was gone, opened the first 
volume — and opened it upon the ode ! 

How great must have been his astonishment at 
seeing himself so addressed ! Indeed, Charlotte 
says, he looked all amazement, read a line or two 
with great eagerness, and then, stopping short, he 
seemed quite affected, and the tears started into 
his eyes : dear soul ! I am sure they did into mine, 
nay, I even sobbed, as I read the account. 

I believe he was obliged to go out before he 
advanced much further. But the next day I had 
a letter from Susan, in which I heard that he had 

1 See last lines of review on p. 28, referring to Captain Mirvan of 


begun reading it with Lady Hales and Miss Couss- 
maker, 1 and that they liked it vastly ! 

Lady Hales spoke of it very innocently, in the 
highest terms, declaring she was sure it was written 
by somebody in high life, and that it had all the 
marks of real genius ! She added, " he must be a 
man of great abilities ! " 

[How ridiculous ! but Miss Coussmaker was a 
little nearer the truth, for she gave it as her opinion 
that the writer was a woman, for she said there was 
such a remarkable delicacy in the conversations 
and descriptions, notwithstanding the grossness and 
vulgarity of some of the characters, and that all 
oaths and indelicate words were so carefully, yet 
naturally avoided, that she could not but suspect 
the writer was a female ; but, she added, notwith- 
standing the preface declared that the writer never 
would be known, she hoped, if the book circulated, 
as she expected it would, he or she would be 
tempted to make a discovery. 

Ha! ha! ha! that's my answer.] They little 
tHink how well they are already acquainted with 
the writer they so much honour ! Susan begged 
to have, then, my father's real and final opinion ; 
— and it is such as I almost blush to write, even 
for my own private reading ; but yet is such as 
I can by no means suffer to pass unrecorded, as 
my whole journal contains nothing so grateful 
to me. I will copy his own words, according to 
Susan's solemn declaration of their authenticity. 

"Upon my word, I think it the best novel I 
know, excepting Fielding's, and, in some respects, 
better than his ! I have been excessively pleased 
with it ; there are, perhaps, a few things that might 
have been otherwise. Mirvan's trick upon Lovel 

1 Lady Hales was the widow of Sir Thomas Pym Hales, Bt, sometime 
M.P. for Dover. He died in 1773. Miss Catherine Coussmaker was her 
daughter by a previous marriage. 



is, I think, carried too far, — there is something even 
disgusting in it : however, this instance excepted, 
I protest I think it will scarce bear an improve- 
ment. The language is as good as anybody need 
write — I declare as good as I would wish to read. 
Lord Orville's character is just what it should be ; 
perfectly benevolent and upright ; and there is a 
boldness in it that struck me mightily, for he is a 
man not ashamed of being better than the rest of 
mankind. Evelina is in a new style, too, so per- 
fectly innocent and natural ; and the scene between 
her and her father, Sir John Belmont, is a scene 
for a tragedy ! I blubbered at it, and Lady Hales 
and Miss Coussmaker are not yet recovered from 
hearing it ; it made them quite ill : it is, indeed, 
wrought up in a most extraordinary manner ! " 

This account delighted me more than I can 
express. How little did I dream of ever being so 
much honoured ! But the approbation of all the 
world put together, would not bear any competi- 
tion, in my estimation, with that of my beloved 

He told Susan that Lady H l had bought her 

set, and that he heard Lady Radnor had bought 
another. So Evelina is still travelling in the great 
world \ 

Soon after this communication my sister Hetty 
came hither to spend a few days. Mr. Crisp almost 
immediately asked her for the third volume of 
Evelina, but as she had not time to stay and read 

it, she pretended that it was lent to Mrs. . 

While she was with us, though fortunately when 
I was not present, he asked her if anybody had yet 
been named or suspected for the author. " No," 
she said, " but that it took vastly" and she praised 
it very freely, and he assented to all she said. 

What will all this come to ? — where will it end ? 

1 Hales. 


and when, and how, shall I wake from the vision 
of such splendid success ? for I hardly know how 
to believe it real. 

Well, I cannot but rejoice that I published the 
book, little as I ever imagined how it would fare ; 
for hitherto it has occasioned me no small diver- 
sion, and nothing of the disagreeable sort. But 
I often think a change will happen, for I am by 
no means so sanguine as to suppose such success 
will be uninterrupted. Indeed, in the midst of the 
greatest satisfaction that I feel, an inward something 
which I cannot account for, prepares me to expect 
a reverse ; for the more the book is drawn into 
notice, the more exposed it becomes to criticism 
and remark. 

Miss F. Burney to Dr. Burney 

Chessington, Friday, July 25, 1778. 

My dear and most kind Father — The request 
you have condescended to make me I meant to 
anticipate in my last letter. How good you are 
to pave the way for my secrets being favourably 
received, by sparing your own time and breath to 
gain the book attention and partiality ! I can't 
express a third part of either the gratitude or plea- 
sure I feel upon hearing from Susy, that you are 
reading it aloud to my mother ; because I well know 
nothing can give it so good a chance with her. 

Will you tell, or shall I write to my mother ? 
I believe she will not be all surprise, for I fancy 
she is not totally without suspicion ; but pray be 
so kind as to tell her, that it was not want of con- 
fidence in her, but in myself, that occasioned my 
reserve and privacy. She knows how severe a 
critic I think her, and therefore I am sure cannot 
wonder I should dread a lash which I had no other 


hope of escaping from, but flight or disguise. 
Indeed, the thoughts of "hot rolls and butter in 
July" could not have a more indelicate effect on 
my Lord Ogleby, 1 than those had upon me which 
followed the news of Evelinas visit to St. Martin's 

However, Susan comforts me with assurances 
that things are in a pretty good way ; and there- 
fore I am willing to flatter myself that, hearing 
who is the writer will rather serve to blunt than to 
sharpen the edge of criticism. I am sure it does 
with you, or your patience and precious time could 
never wade through three volumes of that sort ; 
and I encourage myself, in regard to my mother, 
with the knowledge that no person's feelings will 
be so likely to prove infectious to her as yours. 
She must not be angry if I own I heartily hope 
she will not escape the contagion. 

My mother will the sooner pardon my privacy, 
when she hears that even from you I used every 
method in my power to keep my trash concealed, 
and that I even yet know not in what manner you 
got at the name of it. Indeed, I only proposed, 
like my friends the Miss JBranghtons, a little 
" private fun," and never once dreamt of extending 
my confidence beyond my sisters. 

As to Mrs. Thrale 2 — your wish of telling her 
quite unmans me ; I shook so, when I read it, 
that, had anybody been present, I must have 
betrayed myself; and, indeed, many of my late 
letters have given me such extreme surprise and 
perturbation, that I believe nothing could have 
saved me from Mr. Crisp's discernment, had he 
seen me during my first reading. However, he 
has not an idea of the kind. 

1 The Clandestine Marriage, 1766, Act ii. (p. 26). 

2 Mrs. Thrale, n6e Hester Lynch Salusbury, 1741-1821, soon to be Miss 
Burney's fast friend. Dr. Burney was music-master to Mrs. Thrale' 
eldest daughter. 


But, if you do tell Mrs. Thrale, won't she think 
it strange where I can have kept company, to 
describe such a family as the Branghtons, Mr. 
Brown, and some others ? Indeed (thank Heaven !), 
I don't myself recollect ever passing half an hour 
at a time with any one person quite so bad ; so 
that, I am afraid she will conclude I must have an 
innate vulgarity of ideas, to assist me with such 
coarse colouring for the objects of my imagination. 
Not that I suppose the book would be better 
received by her, for having characters very pretty, 
and all alike. My only fear, in regard to that 
particular, is for poor Miss Bayes ! — If I were able 
to "insinuate the plot into the boxes," 1 I should 
build my defence upon Swift's maxim, that "a 
nice man is a man of nasty ideas." 2 I should 
certainly have been more finical, had I foreseen 
what had happened, or had the most remote notion 
of being known by Mrs. Thrale for the scribe. 
However, 'tis perhaps as well as it is ; for these 
kind of compositions lose all their spirit if they are 
too scrupulously corrected : besides, if I had been 
very nice, I must have cleared away so much, 
that, like poor Mr. Twiss 3 after his friends had 
been so obliging as to give his book a scourge, 
nothing but humdrum matter of fact would be 

Adieu, my dearest sir. Pray give my duty to 
my mother, and pray let her know, after the great 
gun is gone off, that 1 shall anxiously wait to hear 
her opinion : and believe me ever and ever, your 
dutiful and most affectionate, 

Francesca Scriblerus. 

1 The Rehearsal, 1672, Act. I. Sc. i., the reference being to the " printed 
Papers " in which Dryden explained the plot of the Indian Emperor, 1667. 

2 This— scarcely a " maxim "—is one of Swift's Thoughts on Various 
Subjects (Bell's Swift's Prose Works, 1897, i. 281). 

3 Richard Twiss, 1747-1821, whose Travels through Portugal and Spain 
were published in 1775. 


Journal resumed 

July 25. — Mrs. Cholmondeley * has been reading 
and praising Evelina, and my father is quite de- 
lighted at her approbation, and told Susan that 
I could not have had a greater compliment than 
making two such women my friends as Mrs. 
Thrale and Mrs. Cholmondeley, for they were 
severe and knowing, and afraid of praising a tort et 
a tr avers, as their opinions are liable to be quoted. 

Mrs. Thrale said she had only to complain it 
was too short. She recommended it to my mother 
to read ! — how droll ! — and she told her she would 
be much entertained with it, for there was a great 
deal of human life in it, and of the manners of the 
present times, and added it was written " by some- 
body who knows the top and the bottom, the 
highest and the lowest of mankind." 2 She has 
even lent her set to my mother, who brought it 
home with her ! 

By the way, I have again resumed my corre- 
spondence with my friend Mr. Lowndes. When I 
sent the errata I desired to have a set, directed to 
Mr. Grafton, at the Orange CofFee-House ; for I 
had no copy but the one he sent me to make the 
errata from, which was incomplete and unbound. 
However, I heard nothing at all from him ; and 
therefore, after some consideration, and much 
demur, I determined to make an attempt once 
more ; for my father told me it was a shame that 
I, the author, should not have even one set of my 
own work ; I ought, he said, to have had six ; and 
indeed, he is often quite enraged that Lowndes 
gave no more for the MS. — but I was satisfied — 
and that sufficed. 

1 Mary, the sister of Margaret or " Peg " Woffington, the actress. She 
married the Hon. and Rev. Robert Cholmondeley. 

2 Early Diary ; 1889, ii. 238. The story of Evelina is told at length 
in chap. iii. of Eanny Burney (Men of Letters Series), 1903, pp. 61-87. 


I therefore wrote him word, that I supposed, in 
the hurry of his business, and variety of his con- 
cerns, he had forgotten my request, which I now 
repeated. [I also added, that if ever the book went 
through another edition, I should be glad to have 
timely notice, as I had some corrections and 
alterations to propose.] 

I received an immediate answer, and intelligence 
from my sisters, that he had sent a set of Evelina, 
most elegantly bound. The answer I will copy. 

[Fleet Street, July 2, 1778. 

Sir — I bound up a set for you the first day I 
had them, and hoped by some means to hear from 
you. The Great World send here to buy Evelina. 
A polite lady said, " Do, Mr. Lowndes, give me 
Evelina. I am treated as unfashionable for not 
having read it." I think the impression will be 
sold by Christmas. If meantime, or about that 
time, you favour me with any commands, I shall 
be proud to observe them. — Your obliged servant, 

T. Lowndes. 

To Mr. Grafton.] 

Miss F. Burney to Miss S. Burney 

Chessington, July 5, 1778. 

My dearest Susy — Don't you think there 
must be some wager depending among the little 
curled imps who hover over us mortals, of how 
much flummery goes to turn the head of an 
authoress ? Your last communication very near 
did my business ; for, meeting Mr. Crisp ere I had 
composed myself, I "tipt him such a touch of the 
heroics" as he has not seen since the time when 
I was so much celebrated for dancing "Nancy 


Dawson." J I absolutely longed to treat him with 
one of Captain Mirvan's frolics, and to fling his 
wig out of the window. I restrained myself, 
however, from the apprehension that they would 
imagine I had a universal spite to that harmless 
piece of goods, which I have already been known 
to treat with no little indignity. He would fain 
have discovered the reason of my skittishness ; but 
as I could not tell it him, I was obliged to assure 
him it would be lost time to inquire further into 
my flights, since "true no meaning puzzles more 
than wit," 2 and therefore, begging the favour of him 
to " set me down an ass" I suddenly retreated. 

My dear, dear Dr. Johnson ! what a charming 
man you are ! 3 Mrs. Cholmondeley, too, I am not 
merely prepared but determined to admire ; for 
really she has shown so much penetration and 
sound sense of late, that I think she will bring 
about a union between Wit and Judgment, though 
their separation has been so long, and though their 
meetings have been so few. 

But, Mrs. Thrale ! she — she is the goddess of 
my idolatry ! What an eloge is hers ! — an eloge 
that not only delights at first, but proves more and 
more flattering every time it is considered ! 4 

I often think, when I am counting my laurels, 
what a pity it would have been had I popped off in 
my last illness, without knowing what a person of 
consequence I was ! — and I sometimes think that, 
were I now to have a relapse, I could never go off 
with so much eclat ! I am now at the summit of 
a high hill ; my prospects on one side are bright, 

1 A hornpipe in the Beggar's Opera, called after a famous dancer, who 
died in 1767 (see post, Mr. Crisp's letter of January 1779). 

2 Pope, Of the Characters of Women, 1735, 1. 114. 

3 Fanny had already seen Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-84) in March 
1777, when he had visited her home in St. Martin's Street, and she had 
now heard from her sister Susan that he had been speaking of Evelina to 
Mrs. Thrale (Early Diary, 1889, ii. 234, 235). 

4 See ante, p. 38. 


glowing, and invitingly beautiful ; but when I turn 
round, I perceive, on the other side, sundry caverns, 
gulphs, pits, and precipices, that, to look at, make 
my head giddy and my heart sick. I see about 
me, indeed, many hills of far greater height and 
sublimity ; but I have not the strength to attempt 
climbing them ; if I move, it must be downwards. 
I have already, I fear, reached the pinnacle of my 
abilities, and therefore to stand still will be my 
best policy. 

But there is nothing under heaven so difficult to 
do. Creatures who are formed for motion must 
move, however great their inducements to forbear. 
The wisest course I could take, would be to bid an 
eternal adieu to writing ; then would the cry be, 
" 'Tis pity she does not go on ! — she might do 
something better by and by," etc., etc. Evelina, 
as a first and a youthful publication, has been 
received with the utmost favour and lenity ; but 
would a future attempt be treated with the same 
mercy ? — no, my dear Susy, quite the contrary ; 
there would not, indeed, be the same plea to save 
it ; it would no longer be a young lady's first 
appearance in public ; those who have met with 
less indulgence would all peck at any second work ; 
and even those who most encouraged the first off- 
spring might prove enemies to the second, by 
receiving it with expectations which it could not 
answer : and so, between either the friends or the 
foes of the eldest, the second would stand an 
equally bad chance, and a million of flaws which 
were overlooked in the former would be ridiculed 
as villainous and intolerable blunders in the latter. 

But, though my eyes ache as I strain them to 
look forward, the temptations before me are almost 
irresistible ; and what you have transcribed from 
Mrs. Thrale may, perhaps, prove my destruction. 

So you wish to have some of the sayings of the 


folks here about the book ? I am sure I owe you 
all the communications I can possibly give you ; 
but I have nothing new to offer, for the same 
strain prevails here as in town ; and no one will be 
so obliging to me as to put in a little abuse : so 
that I fear you will be satiated with the same- 
ness of people's remarks. Yet, what can I do ? If 
they will be so disagreeable and tiresome as to be 
all of one mind, how is it to be helped ? I can 
only advise you to follow my example, which is, to 
accommodate my philosophy to their insipidity ; 
and in this I have so wonderfully succeeded, that I 
hear their commendations not merely with patience, 
but even with a degree of pleasure ! Such, my 
dear Susy, is the effect of true philosophy. 

You desire Kitty Cooke's 1 remarks in particular. 
I have none to give you, for none can I get. To 
the serious part she indeed listens, and seems to 
think it may possibly be very fine ; but she is quite 
lost when the Branghtons and Madame Duval are 
mentioned ; she hears their speeches very com- 
posedly, and as words of course ; but when she 
hears them followed by loud bursts of laughter 
from Hetty, Mr. Crisp, Mrs. Gast, 2 and Mr. Burney, 3 
she stares with the gravest amazement, and looks 
so aghast, and so distressed to know where the 
joke can be, that I never dare trust myself to look 
at her for more than an instant. Were she to 
speak her thoughts, I am sure she would ask why 
such common things, that pass every day, should 
be printed ? And all the derision with which the 
party in general treat the Branghtons, I can see she 
feels herself, with a plentiful addition of astonish- 
ment, for the author ! 

By the way, not a human being here has the 
most remote suspicion of the fact ; I could not be 

1 See Editor's Introduction, p. 11. 2 Ibid. p. 11. 

3 Charles Rousseau Burney, Hetty's husband. 


more secure, were I literally unknown to them. 
And there is no end to the ridiculous speeches 
perpetually made to me, by all of them in turn, 
though quite by accident. 

" A n't you sorry this sweet book is done ? " said 
Mrs. Gast. 

A silly little laugh was the answer. 

" Ah ! " said Patty, " 'tis the sweetest book !— 
don't you think so, Miss Burney ? " 

JV.B. — Answer as above. 

"Pray, Miss Fan," says Mrs. Hamilton, 1 "who 
wrote it ? " 

" Really I never heard." 

'Cute enough that, Miss Sukey ! 

I desired Hetty to miss the verses ; for I can't 
sit them : and I have been obliged to hide the first 
volume ever since, for fear of a discovery. But I 
don't know how it will end ; for Mrs. Gast has de- 
clared she shall buy it, to take to Bur ford with her. 

From the Same to the Same 

Chessington, Sunday, July 6, 1778. 

Your letter, my dearest Susan, and the enclosed 
one from Lowndes, have flung me into such a 
vehement perturbation, that I hardly can tell 
whether I wake or dream, and it is even with 
difficulty that I can fetch my breath. I have been 
strolling round the garden three or four times, in 
hopes of regaining a little quietness. However, 
I am not very angry at my inward disturbance, 
though it even exceeds what I experienced from 
the Monthly Review, 

My dear Susy, what a wonderful affair has this 
been, and how extraordinary is this torrent of 
success, which sweeps down all before it ! I often 

1 See Editor's Introduction, p. 11. 


think it too much, nay, almost wish it would 
happen to some other person, who had more 
ambition, whose hopes were more sanguine, and 
who could less have borne to be buried in the 
oblivion which I even sought. But though it 
might have been better bestowed, it could by no 
one be more gratefully received. 

Indeed I can't help being grave upon the 
subject ; for a success so really unexpected almost 
overpowers me. I wonder at myself that my 
spirits are not more elated. I believe half the 
flattery I have had would have made me madly 
merry ; but all serves only to almost depress me 
by the fulness of heart it occasions. 

I have been serving Daddy Crisp a pretty trick 
this morning. How he would rail if he found it 
all out ! I had a fancy to dive pretty deeply into 
the real rank in which he held my book ; so I told 
him that your last letter acquainted me who was 
reported to be the author of Evelina, I added 
that it was a profound secret, and he must by no 
means mention it to a human being. He bid me 
tell him directly, according to his usual style of 
command — but I insisted upon his guessing. 

" I can't guess," said he ; " maybe it is you ! " 

Thought I, what do you mean by that ? 

" Pooh, nonsense ! " cried I, " what should make 
you think of me ? " 

" Why, you look guilty," answered he. 

This was a horrible home stroke. Thought I — 
I shall owe them a grudge for this ! however, I 
found it was a mere random shot, and, without 
much difficulty, I laughed it to scorn. 

And who do you think he guessed next ? — My 
father ! — there's for you ! and several questions he 
asked me, whether he had lately been shut up 
much, and so on. And this was not all — for 


he afterwards guessed Mrs. Thrale and Mrs. 
Greville. 1 

There's honour and glory for you ! I assure you 
I grinned prodigiously. 

He then would guess no more. So I served 
him another trick for his laziness. I read a para- 
graph in your last letter (which, perhaps, you may 
not perfectly remember), in which you say the 
private report is, that the author is a son of the 
late Dr. Friend, my likeness. 

Now this son is a darling of my daddy's, who 
reckons him the most sensible and intelligent young 
man of his acquaintance ; so I trembled a few, for, 
I thought, ten to one but he'd say — " He ? — not 
he — I promise you!" But no such thing — his 
immediate answer was : " Well, he's very capable 
of that or anything else." 

I grinned broader than before. 

And here the matter rests. I shan't undeceive 
him, at least till he has finished the book. 

Journal resumed 

July 20. — I have had a letter from my beloved 
father — the kindest, sweetest letter in the world ! 
He tells me too, that he found Mrs. Thrale full of 
Ma fois jokes, the Captain's brutality, Squire 
Smith's gentility, Sir Clement's audaciousness, the 
Branghtons' vulgarity, and Mother Selwyn's sharp 
knife, etc., etc. He then says, that he wishes to 
tell Lady Hales, though she cannot be made more 
fond of the book by a personal partiality for the 
author. He concludes with : " I never heard of 
a novel writer's statue — yet, who knows ? — but 
above all things take care of your head ; if that 
should be at all turned out of its place by all this 

1 Mrs. Greville (see Editor's Introduction, p. 10) was Fanny's god- 


intoxicating success, what a figure would you cut 
upon a pedestal— prenez y bien ga?~de ! " 

Well may he caution me ! — but, as I have told 
him in answer, if I were to make so ungrateful, so 
sinful a return for the favours of fortune, as to be 
ridiculously vain, I should think all this success, 
charming as it is, bought much too dear. 

I have also had a letter from Susanne. She 
informs me that my father, when he took the 
books back to Streatham, actually acquainted Mrs. 
Thrale with my secret. He took an opportunity, 
when they were alone together, of saying that upon 
her recommendation, he had himself, as well as my 
mother, been reading Evelina. 

" Well ! " cried she, " and is it not a very pretty 
book ? and a very clever book ? and a very comical 
book ? " 

" Why," answered he, " 'tis well enough ; but I 
have something to tell you about it." 

" Well ? what ? " cried she ; " has Mrs. Cholm- 
ondeley found out the author ? " 

"No," returned he, "not that I know of; but 
I believe / have, though but very lately." 

" Well, pray let's hear ! " cried she eagerly, " I 
want to know him of all things." 

How my father must laugh at the him ! He 
then, however, undeceived her in regard to that 
particular, by telling her it was " our Fanny ! " for 
she knows all about all our family, as my father 
talks to her of his domestic concerns without any 

A hundred handsome things, of course, followed ; 
and she afterwards read some of the comic parts to 
Dr. Johnson, Mr. Thrale, and whoever came near 
her. How I should have quivered had I been 
there ! but they tell me that Dr. Johnson laughed 
as heartily as my father himself did. 

Nothing can be more ridiculous than the scenes 


in which I am almost perpetually engaged. Mr. 
Crisp, who is totally without suspicion, says, almost 
daily, something that has double the meaning he 
intends to convey ; for, as I am often writing, 
either letters, Italian, or some of my own vagaries, 
he commonly calls me the scribe, and the authoress ; 
asks when I shall print ; says he will have all my 
works on royal paper, etc. ; and the other day Mrs. 
Gast, who frequently lectures me about studying 
too hard, and injuring my health, said — 

"Pray, Miss Burney, now you write so much, 
when do you intend to publish ? " 

" Publish ? " cried Mr. Crisp, " why, she has pub- 
lished ; she brought out a book the other day that 
has made a great noise — Evelina, — and she bribed 
the reviewers to speak well of it, and set it a- 

I was almost ready to run out of the room ; but, 
though the hit was so palpable in regard to the 
book, what he said of the reviewers was so much 
the contrary that it checked my alarm : indeed, 
had he the most remote idea of the truth, he would 
be the last man to have hinted at it before a room- 
ful of people. 

[" Oh ! " cried I, as composedly as I could, " that 
is but a small part of my authorship — I shall give 
you a list of my folios soon." 

They had all some jocularity upon the occasion, 
but I found I was perfectly safe ; indeed, my best 
security is, that my daddy (i.e. Crisp) concludes the 
author to be a man, and all the rest follow as he 

Mr. Burney yesterday, after dinner, said — 
" Gentlemen and ladies, I'll propose a toast " : 
then, filling his glass, he drank to " The author of 

Had they known the author was present they 
could not have more civilly accepted the toast ; it 


was a bold kind of drollery in Mr. Burney, for I was 
fain to drink my own health in a bumper, which he 
filled for me, laughing heartily himself.] 

August 3. — I have an immensity to write. 
Susan has copied me a letter which Mrs. Thrale 
has written to my father, upon the occasion of 
returning my mother two novels by Madame 
Riccoboni. 1 It is so honourable to me, and so 
sweet in her, that I must copy it for my faithful 

Wednesday, 22 [July], 1778, 

"Dear Sir — I forgot to give you the novels 
home in your carriage which I now send by Mr. 
Abingdon's. Evelina certainly excels them far 
enough, both in probability of story, elegance of 
sentiment, and general power over the mind, 
whether exerted in humour or pathos. Add to 
this, that Riccoboni is a veteran author, and all 
she ever can be ; but I cannot tell what might 
not be expected from Evelina, was she to try 
her genius at Comedy. So far had I written 
of my letter, when Mr. Johnson returned home, 
full of the praises of the Book I had lent him, 
and protesting there were passages in it which 
might do honour to Richardson. We talk of it 
for ever, and he feels ardent after the denouement ; 
he could not get rid of the Rogue, he said ! I lent 
him the second volume, and he is now busy 
with the other two (sic). You must be more a 
philosopher, and less a father, than I wish you, not 
to be pleased with this letter ; — and the giving such 
pleasure yields to nothing but receiving it. Long, 

1 Marie-Jeanne de Heurles de Laboras, Mme. Riccoboni, died 1792, 
translated Fielding's Amelia and Kelly's False Delicacy into French, and 
continued Marivaux's Marianne. She wrote several sentimental novels, 
one of which was translated as Lady Catesby's Letters. 


Of Mrs Thrale's Letter to Dr. Burney as to Evelina, July 22, 1778 

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my Dear Sir, may you live to enjoy the just praises 
of your children ! and long may they live to deserve 
and delight such a parent ! These are things that 
you would say in verse ; but Poetry implies Fiction, 
and all this is naked truth. 

Give my letter to my little friend, and a warm 
invitation to come and eat fruit while the season 
lasts. My Compliments to Mrs. Burney, and 
kindest wishes to all your flock, etc." 1 

[How sweet, how amiable in this charming 
woman is her desire of making my dear father 
satisfied with his scribbler's attempt ! I do, indeed, 
feel the most grateful love for her.] 

But Dr. Johnson's approbation ! — it almost 
crazed me with agreeable surprise — it gave me 
such a flight of spirits, that I danced a jig to Mr. 
Crisp, without any preparation, music, or explana- 
tion — to his no small amazement and diversion. 2 
I left him, however, to make his own comments 
upon my friskiness, without affording him the 
smallest assistance. 

Susan also writes me word, that when my father 
went last to Streatham Dr. Johnson was not there, 
but Mrs. Thrale told him, that when he gave her 
the first volume of Evelina, which she had lent 
him, he said, " Why, madam, why, what a charm- 
ing book you lent me ! " and eagerly inquired for 
the rest. He was particularly pleased with the 
Snow-hill scenes, and said that Mr. Smith's vulgar 
gentility was admirably portrayed ; and when Sir 
Clement joins them, he said there was a shade 
of character prodigiously well marked. Well may 

1 The above version of this important letter is based directly upon the 
autograph {see facsimile at p. 48) ; but it follows Mrs. Barrett in omitting 
a few irrelevant words at the close. 

2 The scene of this impromptu performance, as she told Sir Walter 
Scott, forty-eight years afterwards {Journal, 1891, i. 309), was a mulberry 
tree in the garden at Chessington. 



it be said, that the greatest minds are ever the most 
candid to the inferior set ! I think I should love 
Dr. Johnson for such lenity to a poor mere worm 
in literature, even if I were not myself the identical 
grub he has obliged. 

Susan has sent me a little note which has really 
been less pleasant to me, because it has alarmed 
me for my future concealment. It is from Mrs. 
Williams, an exceeding pretty poetess, who has the 
misfortune to be blind, but who has, to make some 
amends, the honour of residing in the house of 
Dr. Johnson : for though he lives almost wholly at 
Streatham, he always keeps his apartments in town, 
and this lady acts as mistress of his house. 1 

" July 25. 

" Mrs. Williams sends compliments to Dr. Burney, 
and begs he will intercede with Miss Burney to do 
her the favour to lend her the reading o£ Evelina" 

[I was quite confounded at this request, which 
proves that Mrs. Thrale has told Dr. Johnson of 
my secret, and that he has told Mrs. Williams, and 
that she has told the person whoever it be, whom 
she got to write the note. 

I instantly scrawled a hasty letter to town to 
entreat my father would be so good as to write to 
her, to acquaint her with my earnest and unaffected 
desire to remain unknown. 

And yet] I am frightened at this affair, I am by 
no means insensible to the honour which I receive 
from the certainty that Dr. Johnson must have 
spoken very well of the book, to have induced 
Mrs. Williams to send to our house for it. [She 
has known my father indeed for some years, but 
not with any intimacy ; and I never saw her, 

1 Anna Williams, 1706-83. She had lived with Dr. Johnson from 1752. 
Her Miscellanies in Prose and Verse were published in 1766. 


though the perusal of her poems has often made 
me wish to be acquainted with her.] 

I now come to last Saturday evening, when my 
beloved father came to Chessington, in full health, 
charming spirits, and all kindness, openness, and 

[I inquired what he had done about Mrs. 
Williams. He told me he went to her himself 
at my desire, for if he had written she could not 
herself have read the note. She apologised very 
much for the liberty she had taken, and spoke 
highly of the book, though she had only heard the 
first volume, as she was dependent upon a lady's 
good nature and time for hearing any part of it ; 
but she went so far as to say that " his daughter 
was certainly the first writer, in that way, now 
living ! "] 

In his way hither he had stopped at Streatham, 
and he settled with Mrs. Thrale that he would call 
on her again in his way to town, and carry me with 
him ! and Mrs. Thrale said, " We all long to know 

I have been in a kind of twitter ever since, for 
there seems something very formidable in the idea 
of appearing as an authoress ! I ever dreaded it, 
as it is a title which must raise more expectations 
than I have any chance of answering. Yet I am 
highly flattered by her invitation, and highly 
delighted in the prospect of being introduced to 
the Streatham society. 

She sent me some very serious advice to write 
for the theatre, as, she says, I so naturally run into 
conversations, that Evelina absolutely and plainly 
points out that path to me ; and she hinted how 
much she should be pleased to be " honoured with 
my confidence." 

My dear father communicated this intelligence, 
and a great deal more, with a pleasure that almost 


surpassed that with which I heard it, and he seems 
quite eager for me to make another attempt. He 
desired to take upon himself the communication 
to my daddy Crisp, and as it is now in so many 
hands that it is possible accident might discover it 
to him, I readily consented. 

Sunday evening, as I was going into my father's 
room I heard him say, " The variety of characters 
— the variety of scenes — and the language — why 
she has had very little education but what she has 
given herself, — less than any of the others I " and 
Mr. Crisp exclaimed, "Wonderful — it's wonderful!" 

I now found what was going forward, and there- 
fore deemed it most fitting to decamp. 

About an hour after, as I was passing through 
the hall, I met my daddy (Crisp). His face was 
all animation and archness ; he doubled his fist at 
me, and would have stopped me, but I ran past 
him into the parlour. 

Before supper, however, I again met him, and 
he would not suffer me to escape ; he caught both 
my hands, and looked as if he would have looked 
me through, and then exclaimed, " Why you little 
hussy, — you young devil ! — an't you ashamed to 
look me in the face, you Evelina, you ! Why, 
what a dance have you led me about it ! Young 
friend, indeed ! Oh you little hussy, what tricks 
have you served me ! " 

I was obliged to allow of his running on with 
these gentle appellations for I know not how long, 
ere he could sufficiently compose himself after his 
great surprise, to ask or hear any particulars ; and 
then, he broke out every three instants with 
exclamations of astonishment at how I had found 
time to write so much unsuspected, and how and 
where I had picked up such various materials ; and 
not a few times did he, with me, as he had with 
my father, exclaim, " Wonderful ! " 


He has, since, made me read him all my letters 
upon this subject. He said Lowndes would have 
made an estate had he given me £1000 for it, and 
that he ought not to have given less ! " You have 
nothing to do now," continued he, "but to take 
your pen in hand, for your fame and reputation 
are made, and any bookseller will snap at what you 

I then told him that I could not but really and 
unaffectedly regret that the affair was spread to 
Mrs. Williams and her friends. 

" Pho," said he, " if those who are proper judges 
think it right that it should be known, why should 
you trouble yourself about it? You have not 
spread it, there can be no imputation of vanity fall 
to your share, and it cannot come out more to 
your honour than through such a channel as Mrs. 

London, August, — I have now to write an ac- 
count of the most consequential day I have spent 
since my birth : namely, my Streatham visit. 

Our journey to Streatham was the least pleas- 
ant part of the day, for the roads were dreadfully 
dusty, and I was really in the fidgets from thinking 
what my reception might be, and from fearing they 
would expect a less awkward and backward kind 
of person than I was sure they would find. 

Mr. Thrale's house * is white, and very pleas- 
antly situated, in a fine paddock. Mrs. Thrale was 
strolling about, and came to us as we got out of 
the chaise. 

[" Ah," cried she, " I hear Dr. Burney's voice ! 
And you have brought your daughter ? — well, now 
you are good ! "] 

1 Streatham Place no longer exists, having been pulled down in 1863. 
Its site was the southern side of the lower common between Streatham 
and Tooting. 


She then received me, taking both my hands, 
and with mixed politeness and cordiality welcom- 
ing me to Streatham. She led me into the house, 
and addressed herself almost wholly for a few 
minutes to my father, as if to give me an assurance 
she did not mean to regard me as a show, or to 
distress or frighten me by drawing me out. After- 
wards she took me upstairs, and showed me the 
house, and said she had very much wished to see 
me at Streatham, and should always think herself 
much obliged to Dr. Burney for his goodness in 
bringing me, which she looked upon as a very 
great favour. 

But though we were some time together, and 
though she was so very civil, she did not hint at 
my book, and I love her much more than ever for 
her delicacy in avoiding a subject which she could 
not but see would have greatly embarrassed me. 

When we returned to the music-room we found 
Miss Thrale was with my father. 1 Miss Thrale is 
a very fine girl, about fourteen years of age, but 
cold and reserved, though full of knowledge and 

Soon after, Mrs. Thrale took me to the library ; 
she talked a little while upon common topics, and 
then, at last, she mentioned Evelina. 

" Yesterday at supper," said she, " we talked it 
all over, and discussed all your characters ; but Dr. 
Johnson's favourite is Mr. Smith. He declares 
the fine gentleman manque was never better drawn ; 
and he acted him all the evening, saying he was 
6 all for the ladies ! ' He repeated whole scenes by 
heart. I declare I was astonished at him. Oh 
you can't imagine how much he is pleased with 

1 Hester Maria, Mrs. Thrale's eldest daughter, 1764-1857. Johnson 
called her " Queenie," after Queen Esther. She was married in 1808 to 
George Keith Elphinstone, Admiral and Viscount Keith. Miss Burney 
had already seen her at St. Martin's Street in March 1777 (Early Diary, 
1889, ii. 153). 


the book ; he ' could not get rid of the rogue,' he 
told me. But was it not droll," said she, " that I 
should recommend it to Dr. Burney? and tease 
him, so innocently, to read it ? " 

I now prevailed upon Mrs. Thrale to let me 
amuse myself, and she went to dress. I then 
prowled about to choose some book, and I saw, 
upon the reading - table, Evelina. — I had just 
fixed upon a new translation of Cicero's Lcelius 1 
when the library-door was opened, and Mr. Seward 2 
entered. I instantly put away my book, because I 
dreaded being thought studious and affected. He 
offered his service to find anything for me, and 
then, in the same breath, ran on to speak of the 
book with which I had myself " favoured the 
world ! " 

The exact words he began with I cannot recol- 
lect, for I was actually confounded by the attack ; 
and his abrupt manner of letting me know he 
was au fait equally astonished and provoked me. 
How different from the delicacy of Mr. and Mrs. 
Thrale ! 

When we were summoned to dinner, Mrs. Thrale 
made my father and me sit on each side of her. I 
said that I hoped I did not take Dr. Johnson's 
place ; for he had not yet appeared. 

"No," answered Mrs. Thrale, "he will sit by 
you, which I am sure will give him great pleasure." 

Soon after we were seated, this great man 

1 Lcelius: an Essay on Friendship, by Marcus Tullius Cicero. With 
remarks by William Melmoth, Esq., 1777. 

2 William Seward, 1747-99, an amiable and accomplished valetudinarian 
(Mrs. Thrale said "hypochondriac "). He was the son of a rich brewer 
(Calvert and Seward), but a man of literary tastes, a friend of Johnson and 
Mrs. Thrale, and a member of the Essex Club. Miss Burney had already 
seen him at St. Martin's Street (Early Diary, 1889, ii. 153) in 1777. He 
wrote the Drossiana in the European Magazine for 1789, afterwards 
the basis of his Anecdotes of some Distinguished Persons, 5 vols., 1795-97, 
and Biographiana, 2 vols., 1799. T. J. Mathias, who, in the Pursuits of 
Literature, 7th ed., 1798, p. 120, dubs Seward a "publick bagman," never- 
theless prefers him to " every compiler of anecdotes, except the Hon. Mr. 
Horace Walpole, now Lord Orford " (Note, dated 1796). 


entered. I have so true a veneration for him, that 
the very sight of him inspires me with delight and 
reverence, notwithstanding the cruel infirmities to 
which he is subject ; for he has almost perpetual 
convulsive movements, either of his hands, lips, 
feet, or knees, and sometimes of all together. 1 

Mrs. Thrale introduced me to him, and he took 
his place. We had a noble dinner, and a most 
elegant dessert. Dr. Johnson, in the middle of 
dinner, asked Mrs. Thrale what was in some little 
pies that were near him. 

"Mutton," answered she, "so I don't ask you 
to eat any, because I know you despise it." 

" No, madam, no," cried he ; "I despise nothing 
that is good of its sort ; but I am too proud now 
to eat of it. Sitting by Miss Burney makes me 
very proud to-day ! " 

"Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale, laughing, 
" you must take great care of your heart if Dr. 
Johnson attacks it ; for I assure you he is not 
often successless." 

" What's that you say, madam ? " cried he ; " are 
you making mischief between the young lady and 
me already ? " 

A little while after he drank Miss Thrale's 
health and mine, and then added : 

" 'Tis a terrible thing that we cannot wish young 
ladies well, without wishing them to become old 
women ! " 

" But some people," said Mr. Seward, " are old 
and young at the same time, for they wear so well 
that they never look old." 

" No, sir, no, " cried the Doctor, laughing ; " that 
never yet was ; you might as well say they are at 

1 " His mouth is almost constantly opening and shutting as if he was 
chewing. He has a strange method of frequently twisting his fingers, 
and twisting his hands. His body is in continual agitation, see-sawing 
up and down ; his feet are never a moment quiet ; and, in short, his whole 
person is in perpetual motion " {Early Diary, 1889, ii. 154). 


the same time tall and short. I remember an 

epitaph to that purpose, which is in " 

(I have quite forgot what, — and also the name 
it was made upon, but the rest I recollect exactly: ) 

" lies buried here ; 

So early wise, so lasting fair, 

That none, unless her years you told, 

Thought her a child, or thought her old." 

Mrs. Thrale then repeated some lines in French, 
and Dr. Johnson some more in Latin. An epilogue 
of Mr. Garrick's to Bonduca l was then mentioned, 
and Dr. Johnson said it was a miserable perform- 
ance, and everybody agreed it was the worst he had 
ever made. 

" And yet/' said Mr. Seward, " it has been very 
much admired ; but it is in praise of English valour, 
and so I suppose the subject made it popular." 

" I don't know, sir," said Dr. Johnson, " any- 
thing about the subject, for I could not read on 
till I came to it ; I got through half a dozen lines, 
but I could observe no other subject than eternal 
dulness. I don't know what is the matter with 
David ; I am afraid he is grown superannu- 
ated, for his prologues and epilogues used to be 

"Nothing is so fatiguing," said Mrs. Thrale, 
" as the life of a wit : he and Wilkes 2 are the two 
oldest men of their ages I know ; for they have 
both worn themselves out, by being eternally on the 
rack to give entertainment to others." 

" David, madam," said the Doctor, " looks much 
older than he is ; for his face has had double the 
business of any other man's ; it is never at rest ; 
when he speaks one minute, he has quite a different 

1 A tragedy, altered from Beaumont and Fletcher by George Colman 
the Elder ; and acted at the Haymarket in July 1778. Garrick's Prologue 
(not Epilogue) is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for September, and 
in the Annual Register for 1778, pp. 199-210. 

2 John Wilkes, 1727-97, the politician. 


countenance to what he assumes the next ; I don't 
believe he ever kept the same look for half an hour 
together, in the whole course of his life ; and such 
an eternal, restless, fatiguing play of the muscles, 
must certainly wear out a man's face before its 
real time.'' 

" Oh yes," cried Mrs. Thrale, " we must certainly 
make some allowance for such wear and tear of a 
man's face." 

The next name that was started, was that of 
Sir John Hawkins : 1 and Mrs. Thrale said, " Why 
now, Dr. Johnson, he is another of those whom 
you suffer nobody to abuse but yourself; Garrick 
is one, too ; for if any other person speaks against 
him, you browbeat him in a minute ! " 

"Why, madam," answered he, "they don't 
know when to abuse him, and when to praise him ; 
I will allow no man to speak ill of David that he 
does not deserve ; and as to Sir John, why really 
I believe him to be an honest man at the bottom : 
but to be sure he is penurious, and he is mean, 
and it must be owned he has a degree of brutality, 
and a tendency to savageness, that cannot easily be 

We all laughed, as he meant we should, at this 
curious manner of speaking in his favour, and he 
then related an anecdote that he said he knew to 
be true in regard to his meanness. He said that 
Sir John and he once belonged to the same club, 
but that as he eat no supper after the first night 
of his admission, he desired to be excused paying 
his share. 2 

1 Sir John Hawkins, 1719-89, author, like Dr. Burney, of a History of 
Music, 5 vols. , 1776. Judging from the character of him given by Johnson 
(whose Life Hawkins wrote in 1787) and from the account given of him 
in Prior's Life ofEdmond Malone, 1860, pp. 425-27, he can hardly have been 
an agreeable man. His penuriousness is exemplified by his charging 
coach hire as Johnson's executor. 

2 The club referred to was probably the Ivy Lane Club, which met 
every Tuesday at the King's Head in Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row, from 


" And was he excused ? " 

" Oh yes ; for no man is angry at another for 
being inferior to himself ! we all scorned him, and 
admitted his plea. For my part I was such a 
fool as to pay my share for wine, though I never 
tasted any. But Sir John was a most unclubable 
man ! " 

[How delighted was I to hear this master of 
languages so unaffectedly and sociably and good- 
naturedly make words, for the promotion of sport 
and good-humour.] 

"And this," continued he, "reminds me of a 
gentleman and lady with whom I travelled once ; 
I suppose I must call them gentleman and lady, 
according to form, because they travelled in their 
own coach and four horses. But at the first inn 
where we stopped, the lady called for — a pint of 
ale ! and when it came, quarrelled with the waiter 
for not giving full measure. — Now, Madame 
Duval 1 could not have done a grosser thing ! " 

Oh, how everybody laughed ! and to be sure I 
did not glow at all, nor munch fast, nor look on 
my plate, nor lose any part of my usual com- 
posure ! But how grateful do I feel to this dear 
Dr. Johnson, for never naming me and the book 
as belonging one to the other, and yet making an 
allusion that showed his thoughts led to it, and, 
at the same time, that seemed to justify the 
character as being natural ! But, indeed, the 
delicacy I met with from him, and from all the 
Thrales, was yet more flattering to me than the 
praise with which I have heard they have honoured 
my book. 

After dinner, when Mrs. Thrale and I left the 
gentlemen, we had a conversation that to me 

1749 to 1756. But Hawkins was also a member of the famous Literary 

1 A character in Evelina, originally a waitress at a tavern. 


could not but be delightful, as she was all good- 
humour, spirits, sense and agreeability} Surely I 
may make words, when at a loss, if Dr. Johnson 

[However I shall not attempt to write any 
more particulars of this day — than which I have 
never known a happier, because the chief subject 
that was started and kept up, was an invitation 
for me to Streatham, and a desire that I might 
accompany my father thither next week, and stay 
with them some time.] 

We left Streatham at about eight o'clock, and 
Mr. Seward, who handed me into the chaise, added 
his interest to the rest, that my father would not 
fail to bring me again next week to stay with 
them some time. In short I was loaded with 
civilities from them all. And my ride home was 
equally happy with the rest of the day, for my 
kind and most beloved father was so happy in my 
happiness, and congratulated me so sweetly, that 
he could, like myself, think on no other subject : 
[and he told me that, after passing through such 
a house as that, I could have nothing to fear — 
meaning for my book, my honoured book.] 

Yet my honours stopped not here ; for Hetty, 
who with her sposo? was here to receive us, told 
me she had lately met Mrs. Reynolds, 3 sister of 
Sir Joshua ; and that she talked very much and 
very highly of a new novel called Evelina ; though 
without a shadow of suspicion as to the scribbler ; 

1 Miss Burney was not first in the field, for Chaucer had used 
" agreeablete." The " H. E. D." has modern examples of the word from 
Lady Lytton and Thackeray's Neiocomes. 

2 Charles Rousseau Burney. See ante, p. 42. 

3 Frances Reynolds (1729-1807), who lived with her brother. She figures 
in Bos well's pages as the " Renny dear " of Johnson. 

I therefore pray thee, Renny dear, 

That thou wilt give to me, 
With cream and sugar softened well, 

Another dish of tea, — 

sang the great man, in disrespectful parody of his friend Percy's Reliques. 


and not contented with her own praise, she said 
that Sir Joshua, who began it one day when he 
was too much engaged to go on with it, was so 
much caught, that he could think of nothing else, 
and was quite absent all the day, not knowing a 
word that was said to him : and, when he took it 
up again, found himself so much interested in it, 
that he sat up all night to finish it ! 

Sir Joshua, it seems, vows he would give fifty 
pounds to know the author ! I have also heard, 
by the means of Charles, that other persons have 
declared they will find him out ! 

This intelligence determined me upon going 
myself to Mr. Lowndes, and discovering what sort 
of answers he made to such curious inquirers as 
I found were likely to address him. But as I 
did not dare trust myself to speak, for I felt that 
I should not be able to act my part well, I asked 
my mother to accompany me. 

We introduced ourselves by buying the book, 

for which I had a commission from Mrs. G . 

Fortunately Mr. Lowndes himself was in the 
shop ; as we found by his air of consequence and 
authority, as well as his age ; for I never saw him 

The moment he had given my mother the book, 
she asked if he could tell her who wrote it. 

"No," he answered ; " I don't know myself." 

" Pho, pho," said she, " you mayn't choose to 
tell, but you must know.*' 

" I don't indeed, ma'am," answered he ; "I 
have no honour in keeping the secret, for I have 
never been trusted. All I know of the matter 
is, that it is a gentleman of the other end of the 

My mother made a thousand other inquiries, to 
which his answers were to the following effect : 
that for a great while, he did not know if it was a 


man or a woman ; but now, he knew that much, 
and that he was a master of his subject, and well 
versed in the manners of the times. 

" For some time," continued he, "I thought it 
had been Horace Walpole's ; * for he once published 
a book in this snug 2 manner ; but I don't think it 
is now. I have often people come to inquire of 
me who it is ; but I suppose he will come out 
soon, and then, when the rest of the world knows 
it, I shall. Servants often come for it from the 
other end of the town, and I have asked them 
divers questions myself, to see if I could get at the 
author ; but I never got any satisfaction." 

Just before we came away, upon my mother s 
still further pressing him, he said, with a most 
important face, 

"Why, to tell you the truth, madam, I have 
been informed that it is a piece of real secret 
history ; and, in that case, it will never be known." 

This was too much for me ; I grinned irresistibly, 
and was obliged to look out at the shop-door till 
we came away. 

[How many ridiculous things have I heard 
upon this subject ! I hope that next some parti- 
cular family will be fixed upon, to whom this secret 
history must belong ! However, I am delighted to 
find myself so safe.] 

From Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

August 16. 

My dear Fannikin — "If I wish to hear the 
sequel of the day?" the question is injurious — 
both because I warmly interest myself in whatever 

1 Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto was published by Lowndes in 
1 764 as a translation from the Italian by William Marshal. 

2 Private, clandestine. 


concerns a Fannikin, and likewise that I must 
else be 

duller than the fat weed 
That rots itself at ease on Lethe's wharf. 1 

The reception you met with at Streatham, 
though highly flattering, by no means surprises me ; 
every article of it is most strictly your due. You 
have fairly earned it, and if your host and hostess 
had given you less, they had defrauded you. 
Flummery 2 is a commodity I do not much deal in ; 
but on this occasion I will subscribe with hand and 
heart to what I have now written. 

After what I had heard of Mr. Seward, I should 
not, I own, have expected such an attack as you 
describe from him. What a contrast between him 
and Mrs. Thrale ! 

I was once in a situation somewhat like yours, 
when I supped with Quin 3 at Bath, a good many 
years ago. There was a fade, empty fellow at 
table with us, who thought to be mighty civil to 
me. Quin observing I did not much relish his 
insipid trash, cried out, " Why, he is a grocer, 
man ! Pry thee, don't choke him with his own 

Mr. Seward certainly merited such a rebuff. 

I desire you to be very minute in the remainder 
of the day, particularly with regard to Dr. Johnson, 
who, though single, is himself an host. 

Well, the ice is now broke, and your perturba- 
tion ought to be in a great measure at an end. 

1 Hamlet , Act I. Sc. v. The Cambridge Shakespeare reads " roots itself 
in ease." 

2 Flummery, empty compliment. 

3 James Quin, the actor, a noted wit and bon-vivant, 1693-1766. After 
his retirement from the stage, he lived much at Bath, where he died, and 
was buried in the Abbey Church. Garrick wrote his epitaph. Smollett 
brings him into Humphry Clinker as an old friend of Matthew Bramble ; 
and at Bath, Gainsborough painted his portrait. Another portrait, by 
Hogarth, formerly in the Townsend Collection, has recently (1904) been 
added to the National Portrait Gallery. 


When you went into the sea at Teignmouth, 1 did 
not you shiver and shrink at first, and almost lose 
your breath when the water came up to your chest ? 
I suppose you afterwards learned to plunge in 
boldly, over head and ears at once, and then your 
pain was over. You must do the like now ; and as 
the public have thought proper to put you on 
a cork jacket, your fears of drowning would be 
unpardonable. S. C. 

1 Miss Burney had visited Teignmouth in 1773. Her journal to her 
sister Susan is printed in the Early Diary, 1889, i. 218 et sea., and is 
characterised by the Editor, Mrs. Raine Ellis, as " Fanny's first book, 
privately circulated." 



Streatham Journal resumed — Character of Mr. Thrale — Dr. John- 
son — Country neighbours — Bennet Langton — Character of 
Mrs. Thrale — Table-talk of Dr. Johnson — Eccentricities of 
the Cumberland family — Dr. Johnson and Richard Cumber- 
land — More table-talk of Dr. Johnson — Anecdotes of the 
Cumberland family — Mrs. Montagu and Bet Flint — The 
female wits — Mrs. Pinkethman — Mrs. Rudd — Kitty Fisher — 
An election dinner — Dr. Johnson — Anecdote of his rude- 
ness — His Lives of the Poets — Mrs. Charlotte Lennox — The 
author of Hermes — Learned Ladies — Johnson's opinion of 
them — Richardson — Fielding — Murphy — Mr. Lort — Cum- 
berland — Seward — Chatterton — The perils of popularity — 
Hannah More — Dr. Johnson's harsh treatment of her. 

Streatham, Sunday, Aug. 23. — I know not how 
to express the fulness of my contentment at 
this sweet place. All my best expectations are 
exceeded, and you know they were not very 
moderate. If, when my dear father comes, Susan 
and Mr. Crisp were to come too, I believe it would 
require at least a day's pondering to enable me to 
form another wish. 

Our journey was charming. The kind Mrs. 
Thrale would give courage to the most timid. She 
did not ask me questions, or catechise me upon 
what I knew, or use any means to draw me out, 
but made it her business to draw herself out — that 
is, to start subjects, to support them herself, and 
to take all the weight of the conversation, as if it 

VOL. I 65 f 


behoved her to find me entertainment. But I am 
so much in love with her, that I shall be obliged 
to run away from the subject, or shall write of 
nothing else. 

When we arrived here, Mrs. Thrale showed me 
my room, which is an exceeding pleasant one, and 
then conducted me to the library, there to divert 
myself while she dressed. 

Miss Thrale soon joined me : and I begin to like 
her. Mr. Thrale was neither well nor in spirits all 
day. Indeed, he seems not to be a happy man, 
though he has every means of happiness in his 
power. But I think I have rarely seen a very rich 
man with a light heart and light spirits. 

Dr. Johnson was in the utmost good humour. 

There was no other company at the house all 

After dinner, I had a delightful stroll with Mrs. 
Thrale, and she gave me a list of all her "good 
neighbours " in the town of Streatham, and said she 

was determined to take me to see Mr. T , l the 

clergyman, who was a character I could not but be 
diverted with, for he had so furious and so absurd 
a rage for building, that in his garden he had as 
many temples, and summer-houses, and statues as 
in the gardens of Stow, though he had so little 
room for them that they all seemed tumbling one 
upon another. 

In short, she was all unaffected drollery and 
sweet good humour. 

At tea we all met again, and Dr. Johnson was 
gaily sociable. He gave a very droll account of 
the children of Mr. Langton, 2 

" Who," he said, " might be very good children 

1 In the Diary for 1780, " Mr. T " is revealed as " Mr. Tattersall. " 

2 Bennet Langton, 1737-1801, one of Johnson's best friends. He 
succeeded him in 1788 as Professor of Ancient Literature to the Royal 
Academy. Johnson thought Langton had "his children too! much about 
him" (Hill's Bosivell, 1887, iii. 128). 


if they were let alone ; but the father is never easy 
when he is not making them do something which 
they cannot do ; they must repeat a fable, or a 
speech, or the Hebrew alphabet ; and they might 
as well count twenty, for what they know of the 
matter : however, the father says half, for he 
prompts every other word. But he could not 
have chosen a man who would have been less 
entertained by such means." 

" I believe not ! " cried Mrs. Thrale : " nothing 
is more ridiculous than parents cramming their 
children's nonsense down other people's throats. 
I keep mine as much out of the way as I 

" Yours, madam," answered he, " are in nobody's 
way ; no children can be better managed or less 
troublesome ; but your fault is, a too great per- 
verseness in not allowing anybody to give them 
anything. Why should they not have a cherry or 
a gooseberry as well as bigger children ? " 

" Because they are sure to return such gifts by 
wiping their hands upon the giver's gown or coat, 
and nothing makes children more offensive. People 
only make the offer to please the parents, and they 
wish the poor children at Jericho when they accept 


" But, madam, it is a great deal more offensive 
to refuse them. Let those who make the offer 
look to their own gowns and coats, for when you 
interfere, they only wish you at Jericho." 

"It is difficult," said Mrs. Thrale, "to please 

Indeed, the freedom with which Dr. Johnson 
condemns whatever he disapproves, is astonishing ; 
and the strength of words he uses would, to 
most people, be intolerable ; but Mrs. Thrale 
seems to have a sweetness of disposition that 
equals all her other excellences, and far from 


making a point of vindicating herself, she generally 
receives his admonitions with the most respectful 

But I fear to say all I think at present of Mrs. 
Thrale, lest some flaws should appear by and 
by, that may make me think differently. And 
yet, why should I not indulge the now, as well as 
the then, since it will be with so much more 
pleasure ? In short, I do think her delightful ; 
she has talents to create admiration, good humour 
to excite love, understanding to give entertain- 
ment, and a heart which, like my dear father's, 
seems already fitted for another world. My own 
knowledge of her, indeed, is very little for such a 
character ; but all I have heard, and all 1 see, so 
well agree, that I won't prepare myself for a future 

But to return. Mrs. Thrale then asked whether 
Mr. Langton took any better care of his affairs than 
formerly ? 

" No, madam," cried the doctor, " and never 
will ; he complains of the ill effects of habit, and 
rests contentedly upon a confessed indolence. He 
told his father himself that he had 'no turn to 
economy ' ; but a thief might as well plead that he 
had ' no turn to honesty.' " 

Was not that excellent ? 

At night, Mrs. Thrale asked if I would have 
anything ? I answered, " No " ; but Dr. Johnson 

" Yes : she is used, madam, to suppers ; she 
would like an egg or two, and a few slices of ham, 
or a rasher — a rasher, I believe, would please her 

How ridiculous ! However, nothing could 
persuade Mrs. Thrale not to have the cloth laid : 
and Dr. Johnson was so facetious, that he chal- 
lenged Mr. Thrale to get drunk ! 


" I wish," said he, " my master would say to me, 1 
Johnson, if you will oblige me, you will call for 
a bottle of Toulon, and then we will set to it, glass 
for glass, till it is done ; and after that, I will say, 
Thrale, if you will oblige me, you will call for 
another bottle of Toulon, and then we will set to 
it, glass for glass, till that is done : and by the 
time we should have drunk the two bottles, we 
should be so happy, and such good friends, that we 
should fly into each other's arms, and both together 
call for the third ! " 

I ate nothing, that they might not again use 
such a ceremony with me. Indeed, their late 
dinners forbid suppers, especially as Dr. Johnson 
made me eat cake at tea, for he held it till I took 
it, with an odd or absent complaisance. 

He was extremely comical after supper, and 
would not suffer Mrs. Thrale and me to go to bed 
for near an hour after we made the motion. 

The Cumberland family 2 was discussed. Mrs. 
Thrale said that Mr. Cumberland was a very 
amiable man in his own house ; but as a father 
mighty simple ; which accounts for the ridiculous 
conduct and manners of his daughters, concerning 
whom we had much talk, and were all of a mind ; 
for it seems they used the same rude stare to Mrs. 
Thrale that so much disgusted us at Mrs. Ord's : 
she says that she really concluded something was 
wrong, and that, in getting out of the coach, she 
had given her cap some unlucky cuff, — by their 
merciless staring. 

I told her that I had not any doubt, when I had 
met with the same attention from them, but that 

1 This was the name by which (like Mrs. Trulliber in Joseph Andrews) 
Mrs. Thrale spoke of her first husband. Johnson and others caught it 
up ; and she became known as " my mistress." 

2 Richard Cumberland, 1732-1811, the dramatist, and the " Sir Fretful 
Plagiary " of Sheridan's Critic. Miss Burney speaks of his daughters in 
1779 as " the flashers of the place " at Brighton. 


they were calculating the exact cost of all my 
dress. Mrs. Thrale then told me that, about two 
years ago, they were actually hissed out of the 
playhouse, on account of the extreme height of 
their feathers ! 

Dr. Johnson instantly composed an extempore 
dialogue between himself and Mr. Cumberland 
upon this subject, in which he was to act the part 
of a provoking condoler : 

"Mr. Cumberland (I should say), how mon- 
strously ill-bred is a playhouse mob ! How I 
pitied poor Miss Cumberlands about that affair ! " 

" What affair ? " cries he, for he has tried to 
forget it. 

"Why," says I, "that unlucky accident they 
met with some time ago." 

" Accident ? what accident, sir ? " 

" Why, you know, when they were hissed out 
of the playhouse — you remember the time — oh, 
the English mob is most insufferable ! they are 
boors, and have no manner of taste ! " 

Mrs. Thrale accompanied me to my room, and 
stayed chatting with me for more than an hour. 

Now for this morning's breakfast. 

Dr. Johnson, as usual, came last into the library ; 
he was in high spirits, and full of mirth and sport. 
I had the honour of sitting next to him : and now, 
all at once, he flung aside his reserve, thinking, 
perhaps, that it was time I should fling aside mine. 

Mrs. Thrale told him that she intended taking 
me to Mr. T 's. 

" So you ought, madam," cried he ; " 'tis your 
business to be Cicerone to her." 

Then suddenly he snatched my hand, and kiss- 
ing it, 

" Ah !" he added, "they will little think what a 
tartar you carry to them ! " 


"No, that they won't!" cried Mrs. Thrale ; 
" Miss Burney looks so meek and so quiet, nobody 
would suspect what a comical girl she is ; but I 
believe she has a great deal of malice at heart." 

" Oh, she's a toad ! " 1 cried the doctor, laughing 
— "a sly young rogue! with her Smiths and her 
Branghtons ! " 

" Why, Dr. Johnson," said Mrs. Thrale, " I hope 
you are very well this morning ! if one may judge 
by your spirits and good humour, the fever you 
threatened us with is gone off." 

He had complained that he was going to be ill 
last night. 

" Why no, madam, no," answered he, " 1 am 
not yet well ; 1 could not sleep at all ; there I 
lay restless and uneasy, and thinking all the time 
of Miss Burney. Perhaps I have offended her, 
thought I ; perhaps she is angry ; I have seen her 
but once, and I talked to her of a rasher ! — AVere 
you angry ? " 

I think I need not tell you my answer. 

" I have been endeavouring to find some 
excuse," continued he, " and, as I could not sleep, 
I got up, and looked for some authority for the 
word ; and I find, madam, it is used by Dryden : 
in one of his prologues, he says — ' And snatch a 
homely rasher from the coals.' 2 So you must not 
mind me, madam ; I say strange things, but I 
mean no harm." 

I was almost afraid he thought I was really 
idiot enough to have taken him seriously ; but, a 
few minutes after, he put his hand on my arm, and 
shaking his head, exclaimed, 

" Oh, you are a sly little rogue ! — what a 
Holborn beau have you drawn ! " 

1 "Toad," "toadling," were eighteenth - century terms of familiar 

2 Prologue to All for Love; or, The World well Lost, 1678. 


"Ay, Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale, "the 
Holborn beau is Dr. Johnson's favourite ; and 
we have all your characters by heart, from Mr. 
Smith up to Lady Louisa." 1 

" Oh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith is the man ! " cried 
he, laughing violently. " Harry Fielding never 
drew so good a character ! — such a fine varnish of 
low politeness ! — such a struggle to appear a 
gentleman ! Madam, there is no character better 
drawn anywhere — in any book or by any author." 

I almost poked myself under the table. Never 
did I feel so delicious a confusion since I was 
born ! But he added a great deal more, only I 
cannot recollect his exact words, and I do not 
choose to give him mine. 

" Come, come," cried Mrs. Thrale, " we'll tor- 
ment her no more about her book, for I see it 
really plagues her. I own I thought for awhile it 
was only affectation, for I'm sure if the book were 
mine I should wish to hear of nothing else. But 
we shall teach her in time how proud she ought to 
be of such a performance." 

" Ah, madam," cried the doctor, " be in no haste 
to teach her that ; she'll speak no more to us when 
she knows her own weight." 

" Oh, but, sir," cried she, " if Mr. Thrale has his 
way, she will become our relation, and then it will 
be hard if she won't acknowledge us." 

You may think I stared, but she went on. 

" Mr. Thrale says nothing would make him half 

so happy as giving Miss Burney to Sir J 

L ." 2 

1 Lady Louisa Larpent in Evelina. Mrs. Thrale sometimes called Miss 
Burney " Lady Louisa of Leicester Square." 

2 Sir John Lade, Thrale's nephew, then a minor. " He married a 
woman of the town, became a celebrated member of the Four-in-Hand 
Club, and contrived to waste the whole of a fine fortune before he died " 
(Hay ward's Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Piozzi, 2nd ed., 1861, i. 78). Sir 
John Lade figures in Sir* A. Conan Doyle's Rodney Stone, 1896. There 
are also some satirical verses upon him by Johnson in Hill's Boswell, 1887, 
iv. 413. 


Mercy ! what an exclamation did I give. 1 
wonder you did not hear me to St. Martin's Street. 
However, she continued, 

" Mr. Thrale says, Miss Burney seems more 
formed to draw a husband to herself, by her 
humour when gay, and her good sense when 
serious, than almost anybody he ever saw." 

" He does me much honour," cried I : though 
I cannot say I much enjoyed such a proof of his 

good opinion as giving me to Sir J L ; 

but Mr. Thrale is both his uncle and his guardian, 
and thinks, perhaps, he would do a mutual good 
office in securing me so much money, and his 
nephew a decent companion. Oh, if he knew how 
little I require with regard to money — how much 
to even bear with a companion ! But he was not 
brought up with such folks as my father, my 
Daddy Crisp, and my Susan, and does not know 
what indifference to all things but good society 
such people as those inspire. 

" My master says a very good speech," cried the 
doctor, "if Miss Burney 's husband should have 
anything in common with herself ; but I know not 

how we can level her with Sir J L , unless 

she would be content to put her virtues and talents 
in a scale against his thousands : and poor Sir 

J must give cheating weight even then ! 

However, if we bestow such a prize upon him, he 
shall settle his whole fortune on her." 

Ah ! thought I, I am more mercenary than you 
fancy me, for not even that would bribe me high 

Before Dr. Johnson had finished his eloge, I was 
actually on the ground, for there was no standing 
it, — or sitting it, rather : and Mrs. Thrale seemed 
delighted for me. 

" I assure you," she said, " nobody can do your 
book more justice than Dr. Johnson does : and yet, 


do you remember, sir, how unwilling you were to 
read it ? He took it up, just looked at the first 
letter, and then put it away, and said, 'I don't 
think I have any taste for it ! ' — but when he was 
going to town, I put the first volume into the 
coach with him ; and then, when he came home, 
the very first words he said to me were 'Why, 
Madam, this Evelina is a charming creature ! ' — and 
then he teased me to know who she married, and 
what became of her, — and I gave him the rest. 
For my part, I used to read it in bed, and could 
not part with it : I laughed at the second, and I 
cried at the third ; but what a trick was that of 
Dr. Burney's, never to let me know whose it was 
till 1 had read it ! Suppose it had been something 
I had not liked ! Oh, it was a vile trick ! " 

" No, madam, not at all ! " cried the doctor, 
" for, in that case, you would never have known ; — 
all would have been safe, for he would neither have 
told you who wrote it, nor Miss Burney what you 
said of it.'* 

Some time after the doctor began laughing to 
himself, and then, suddenly turning to me, he 
called out, " Only think, Polly ! Miss has danced 
with a lord ! " 1 

" Ah, poor Evelina ! " cried Mrs. Thrale, " I see 
her now in Kensington Gardens. What she must 
have suffered ! Poor girl ! what fidgets she must 
have been in ! And I know Mr. Smith, too, very 
well ; — I always have him before me at the Hamp- 
stead Ball, dressed in a white coat, and a tambour 
waistcoat, 2 worked in green silk. Poor Mr. Seward ! 
Mr. Johnson made him so mad t'other day! ' Why, 
Seward,' said he, ' how smart you are dressed ! why, 
you only want a tambour waistcoat to look like 

1 This is a quotation from Letter liv. of Evelina. 

2 i.e. embroidered on a tambour or drum-shaped frame. This is now 
done efficiently by machines. 


Mr. Smith ! ' But I am very fond of Lady- 
Louisa ; I think her as well drawn as any character 
in the book ; so fine, so affected, so languishing ; 
and, at the same time, so insolent ! " 

She then ran on with several of her speeches. 

Some time after, she gave Dr. Johnson a letter 
from Dr. Jebb, 1 concerning one of the gardeners 
who is very ill. When he had read it, he grumbled 
violently to himself, and put it away with marks of 

" What's the matter, sir ! " said Mrs. Thrale ; " do 
you find any fault with the letter ? " 

"No, madam, the letter's well enough, if the 
man knew how to write his own name : but it 
moves my indignation to see a gentleman take 
pains to appear a tradesman. Mr. Branghton 
would have written his name with just such beastly 

"Ay, well," said Mrs. Thrale, "he is a very 
agreeable man, and an excellent physician, and a 
great favourite of mine, and so he is of Miss 

" Why, I have no objection to the man, madam, 
if he would write his name as he ought to do." 

" Well, it does not signify," cried Mrs. Thrale ; 
"but the commercial fashion of writing gains 
ground every day, for all Miss Burney abuses it, 
with her Smiths and her Branghtons. Does not 
the great Mr. Pennant write like a clerk, 2 without 
any pronouns ? and does not everybody flourish 
their names till nobody can read them ? " 

After this they talked over a large party of 
company who are invited to a formal and grand 
dinner for next Monday, and among others Admiral 

1 Richard Jebb, 1729-87, M.D., and Harveian orator and censor. He 
was made a baronet in this year. 

2 Pennant's writing, from a specimen dated 1796 now before us, is 
clear but not particularly clerical. 


Montague 1 was mentioned. The doctor, turning 
to me, with a laugh, said, 

" You must mark the old sailor, Miss Burney ; 
he'll be a character." 

" Ah ! " cried Mrs. Thrale, who was going out 
of the room, " how I wish you would hatch up a 
comedy between you ! do, fall to work ! " 

A pretty proposal ! to be sure Dr. Johnson 
would be very proud of such a fellow-labourer ! 

As soon as we were alone together, he said, 

" These are as good people as you can be with ; 
you can go to no better house ; they are all good 
nature ; nothing makes them angry." 

As I have always heard from my father that 
every individual at Streatham spends the morning 
alone, I took the first opportunity of absconding to 
my own room, and amused myself in writing till I 
tired. About noon, when I went into the library, 
book hunting, Mrs. Thrale came to me. 

We had a very nice confab about various books, 
and exchanged opinions and imitations of Baretti ; J 
she told me many excellent tales of him, and I, in 
return, related my stories. 

She gave me a long and very entertaining- 
account of Dr. Goldsmith, whj was intimately 
known here ; but in speaking of " The Good- 
natured Man," when I extolled my favourite 

1 John Montagu, 1719-95 : Rear-Admiral, 1770 ; Commander-in-Chief 
on the North American Station, 1771-74 ; Vice-Admiral and Commander- 
in-Chief at Newfoundland, 1776. James Burney, Fanny's elder brother, 
entered the Navy under Admiral Montagu (see Editor's Introduction, 
p. 5). 

2 Giuseppe Marc' Antonio Baretti, 1719-89, was a teacher of Italian and 
a voluminous miscellaneous writer. His friend Johnson had introduced 
him to the Thrales, with whom he was domesticated from 1773 to July 6, 
1776, teaching Queenie Italian. By the latter date he had quarrelled with 
Mrs. Thrale, and left the house. He held the post of Foreign Secretary 
to the Royal Academy. Reynolds painted his portrait for the Thrale 
Gallery. It was sold in 1816 for £31 : 10s. (Piozziana, 1833, p. 51). Miss 
Burney had often seen him at St. Martin's Street, and in a letter of 1786 
he calls himself her "old friend Baretti" (see also note on Baretti 's 
Dialogues in 1783). 


Croaker, I found that admirable character was a 
downright theft from Dr. Johnson. Look at the 
Rambler, and you will find Suspirius is the man, 
and that not merely the idea, but the particulars 
of the character, are all stolen thence ! l 

While we were yet reading this Rambler, 
Dr. Johnson came in : we told him what we were 

" Ah, madam ! " cried he, " Goldsmith was not 
scrupulous ; but he would have been a great man 
had he known the real value of his own internal 

"Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale, "is fond of 
his Vicar of Wakefield : and so am I ; — don't 
you like it, sir ? " 

" No, madam, it is very faulty ; there is nothing 
of real life in it, and very little of nature. It is a 
mere fanciful performance." 2 

He then seated himself upon a sofa, and calling 
to me, said, "Come, — Evelina, — come and sit by 

I obeyed ; and he took me almost in his arms, 
— that is, one of his arms, for one would go three 
times, at least, round me, — and, half-laughing, half- 
serious, he charged me to "be a good girl ! " 

" But, my dear," continued he with a very droll 
look, "what makes you so fond of the Scotch ? I 
don't like you for that ; — I hate these Scotch, and 
so must you. I wish Branghton had sent the dog 
to jail ! That Scotch dog Macartney." 

"Why, sir," said Mrs. Thrale, "don't you 
remember he says he would, but that he should 
get nothing by it ? " 

1 Suspirius, the Screech Owl. See Rambler, No. 59, for Tuesday, 
October 9, 1750. But Forster, Life of Goldsmith, Bk. iii. ch. 16, suggests 
that Goldsmith may also have borrowed largely from his own doleful 
philosopher in the Citizen of the World, 1762, ii. 114 (Letter lxxxix.). 

2 He was more consistent than usual on this point. " His [Gold- 
smith's] Vicar'" — he told Reynolds in this year — " I myself did not think 
would have much success" (Hill's Boswell, 1887, iii. 321). 


"Why, ay, true," cried the doctor, see-sawing 
very solemnly, " that, indeed, is some palliation for 
his forbearance. But I must not have you so fond 
of the Scotch, my little Burney ; make your hero 
what you will but a Scotchman. Besides, you 
write Scotch — you say • the one,' — my dear, that's 
not English. Never use that phrase again." 

" Perhaps," said Mrs. Thrale, " it may be used 
in Macartney's letter, and then it will be a pro- 

" No, madam, no ! " cried he ; " you can't make 
a beauty of it ; it is in the third volume ; put it in 
Macartney's letter, and welcome ! — that, or any- 
thing that is nonsense." 

» Why, surely," cried I, " the poor man is used 
ill enough by the Branghtons." 

"But Branghton," said he, "only hates him 
because of his wretchedness, — poor fellow ! — But, 
my dear love, how should he ever have eaten a 
good dinner before he came to England ? " 

And then he laughed violently at young 
Branghton's idea. 

"Well," said Mrs. Thrale, "I always liked 
Macartney ; he is a very pretty character, and I 
took to him, as the folks say." 

" Why, madam," answered he, " I like Mac- 
artney myself. Yes, poor fellow, I liked the man, 
but I love not the nation." 

And then he proceeded, in a dry manner, to 
make at once sarcastic reflections on the Scotch, 
and flattering speeches to me, for Macartney's 
firing at the national insults of young Branghton : 
his stubborn resolution in not owning, even to his 
bosom friend, his wretchedness of poverty ; and 
his fighting at last for the honour of his nation, 
when he resisted all other provocations ; he said, 
were all extremely well marked. 

We stayed with him till just dinner time, and 


then we were obliged to run away and dress ; but 
Dr. Johnson called out to me as I went — 

" Miss Burney, I must settle that affair of the 
Scotch with you at our leisure." 

At dinner we had the company, or rather the 
presence, for he did not speak two words, of Mr. 

E , the clergyman, I believe, of Streatham. 

And afterwards, Mrs. Thrale took the trouble to 
go with me to the T 's. 

[Dr. Johnson, who has a love of social con- 
verse that nobody, without living under the same 
roof with him, would suspect, quite begged us not 
to go till he went to town ; but as we were hatted 
and ready, Mrs. Thrale only told him she rejoiced 
to find him so jealous of our companies, and then 
away we whisked, — she, Miss Thrale, and my 

I could write some tolerable good sport con- 
cerning this visit, but that I wish to devote all the 
time I can snatch for writing, to recording what 
passes here [; themes of mere ridicule offer every- 

We got home late, and had the company of Mr. 

E , and of Mr. Rose Fuller, a young man who 

lives at Streatham, and is nephew of the famous 
Rose Fuller ; and whether Dr. Johnson did not 
like them, or whether he was displeased that we 
went out, or whether he was not well, I know 
not ; but he never opened his mouth, except 
in answer to a question, till he bid us good- 
night. 1 

Saturday Morning. — Dr. Johnson was again all 
himself ; and so civil to me ! — even admiring how 
I dressed myself! Indeed, it is well I have so 
much of his favour ; for it seems he always speaks 

1 " It is remarkable he never speaks at all, but when spoken to," she 
had said upon their first meeting in 1777 {Early Diary, 1889, ii. 157). 
And Tyers compared him to a ghost who never answered until addressed 
(Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Friday, August 20, 1773). 


his mind concerning the dress of ladies, and all 
ladies who are here obey his injunctions implicitly, 
and alter whatever he disapproves. This is a part 
of his character that much surprises me : but not- 
withstanding he is sometimes so absent, and always 
so near sighted, he scrutinises into every part of 
almost everybody's appearance. They tell me of a 
Miss Brown, who often visits here, and who has a 
slovenly way of dressing. " And when she comes 
down in a morning," says Mrs. Thrale, u her hair 
will be all loose, and her cap half off; and then 
Dr. Johnson, who sees something is wrong, and 
does not know where the fault is, concludes it is in 
the cap, and says, 'My dear, what do you wear 
such a vile cap for ? ' ' I'll change it, sir,' cries the 
poor girl, ' if you don't like it.' ' Ay, do,' he says ; 
and away runs poor Miss Brown ; but when she 
gets on another, it's the same thing, for the cap 
has nothing to do with the fault. And then she 
wonders Dr. Johnson should not like the cap, for 
she thinks it very pretty. And so on with her 
gown, which he also makes her change ; but if the 
poor girl were to change through all her wardrobe, 
unless she could put her things on better, he would 
still find fault." 

When Dr. Johnson was gone, she told me 
of my mother's being obliged to change her 

" Now," said she, " Mrs. Burney had on a very 
pretty linen jacket and coat, and was going to 
church ; but Dr. Johnson, who, I suppose, did not 
like her in a jacket, saw something was the matter, 
and so found fault with the linen : and he looked 
and peered, and then said, ' Why, madam, this 
won't do ! you must not go to church so ! ' So 
away went poor Mrs. Burney and changed her 
gown ! And when she had done so, he did not 
like it, but he did not know why ; so he told her 


she should not wear a black hat and cloak in 
summer ! Oh, how he did bother poor Mrs. 
Burney ! and himself too, for if the things had 
been put on to his mind, he would have taken no 
notice of them." 

"Why," said Mr. Thrale, very drily, "I don't 
think Mrs. Burney a very good dresser." 

" Last time she came," said Mrs. Thrale, " she 
was in a white cloak, and she told Dr. Johnson 
she had got her old white cloak scoured on pur- 
pose to oblige him ! ' Scoured ! ' says he, ' ay, — 
have you, madam ? ' — so he see-sawed, for he could 
not for shame find fault, but he did not seem to 
like the scouring." 

[So I think myself amazingly fortunate to be 
approved by him ; for, if he disliked, alack-a-day, 
how could I change ! But he has paid me some 
very fine compliments upon this subject. 

I was very sorry when the doctor went to town, 
though Mrs. Thrale made him promise to return 
to Monday's dinner ; and he has very affectionately 
invited me to visit him in the winter, when he is 
at home : and he talked to me a great deal of Mrs. 
Williams, and gave me a list of her works, and 
said I must visit them ; — which I am sure I shall 
be very proud of doing.] 

And now let me try to recollect an account he 
gave us of certain celebrated ladies of his acquaint- 
ance : an account which, had you heard from him- 
self, would have made you die with laughing, his 
manner is so peculiar, and enforces his humour so 

It was begun by Mrs. Thrale's apologising to 
him for troubling him with some question she 
thought trifling — Oh, I remember ! We had been 
talking of colours, and of the fantastic names given 
to them, and why the palest lilac should be called 



a soupir etouffe; and when Dr. Johnson came in 
she applied to him. 

"Why, madam," said he with wonderful readi- 
ness, "it is called a stifled sigh because it is checked 
in its progress, and only half a colour." 

I could not help expressing my amazement at 
his universal readiness upon all subjects, and Mrs. 
Thrale said to him, 

"Sir, Miss Burney wonders at your patience 
with such stuff; but I tell her you are used to 
me, for I believe I torment you with more foolish 
questions than anybody else dares do." 

" No, madam," said he, " you don't torment 
me ; — you tease me, indeed, sometimes." 

" Ay, so I do, Dr. Johnson, and I wonder you 
bear with my nonsense." 

" No, madam, you never talk nonsense ; you 
have as much sense, and more wit, than any 
woman I know ! " 

" Oh," cried Mrs. Thrale, blushing, "it is my 
turn to go under the table this morning, Miss 
Burney ! " 

" And yet," continued the doctor, with the most 
comical look, " I have known all the wits, from 
Mrs. Montagu down to Bet Flint ! " x 

"Bet Flint!" cried Mrs. Thrale; "pray who 
is she ? " 

" Oh, a fine character, madam ! She was 
habitually a slut and a drunkard, and occasionally 
a thief and a harlot." 

" And, for Heaven's sake, how came you to 
know her ? " 

"Why, madam, she figured in the literary 
world, too ! Bet Flint wrote her own life, and 
called herself Cassandra, and it was in verse ; — it 
began : 

1 For Johnson's account of Bet Flint, as 'given to the company at 
Dilly's in 1781, see Hill's Boswell, 1887, iv. 103. 


" When Nature first ordained my birth, 
A diminutive I was born on earth : 
And then I came from a dark abode, 
Into a gay and gaudy world. 1 

" So Bet brought me her verses to correct ; 2 but 
I gave her half-a- crown, and she liked it as well. 
Bet had a fine spirit ; — she advertised for a husband, 
but she had no success, for she told me no man 
aspired to her ! Then she hired very handsome 
lodgings and a footboy ; and she got a harpsichord, 
but Bet could not play ; however, she put herself 
in fine attitudes, and drummed." 

Then he gave an account of another of these 
geniuses, who called herself by some fine name, I 
have forgotten what. 

" She had not quite the same stock of virtue," 
continued he, "nor the same stock of honesty as 
Bet Flint ; but I suppose she envied her accom- 
plishments, for she was so little moved by the 
power of harmony, that while Bet Flint thought 
she was drumming very divinely, the other jade 
had her indicted for a nuisance ! " 

" And pray what became of her, sir ? " 

" Why, madam, she stole a quilt from the man 
of the house, and he had her taken up : but Bet 
Flint had a spirit not to be subdued ; so when she 
found herself obliged to go to jail, she ordered a 
sedan chair, and bid her footboy walk before her. 
However, the boy proved refractory, for he was 
ashamed, though his mistress was not." 

"And did she ever get out of jail again, sir ?" 

" Yes, madam ; when she came to her trial the 
judge acquitted her. ' So now,' she said to me, 
' the quilt is my own, and now I'll make a petticoat 
of it.' Oh, I loved Bet Flint!" 

Oh, how we all laughed ! Then he gave an 

1 Boswell gives a slightly different version. But it is not worth quoting. 
2 According to Boswell, she asked the Doctor to write a Preface. 


account of another lady, who called herself 
Laurinda, and who also wrote verses and stole 
furniture ; but he had not the same affection for 
her, he said, though she too " was a lady who had 
high notions of honour." 

Then followed the history of another, who called 
herself Hortensia, and who walked up and down 
the park repeating a book of Virgil. 

" But," said he, " though I know her story, I 
never had the good fortune to see her." 

After this he gave us an account of the famous 
Mrs. Pinkethman. 1 " And she," he said, " told me 
she owed all her misfortunes to her wit ; for she 
was so unhappy as to marry a man who thought 
himself also a wit, though I believe she gave him 
not implicit credit for it, but it occasioned much 
contradiction and ill-will." 

" Bless me, sir ! " cried Mrs. Thrale, " how can 
all these vagabonds contrive to get at you, of all 
people ? " 

" Oh the dear creatures ! " cried he, laughing 
heartily, " I can't but be glad to see them ! " 

"Why, I wonder, sir, you never went to see 
Mrs. Rudd among the rest ? " 2 

"Why, madam, I believe I should," said he, 
"if it was not for the newspapers ; but I am 
prevented many frolics that I should like very 
well, since I am become such a theme for the 

Now would you ever have imagined this ? Bet 
Flint, it seems, once took Kitty Fisher 3 to see 
him, but to his no little regret he was not at home. 
"And Mrs. Williams," he added, "did not love 

1 This is probably a mistake for the notorious Mrs. Pilkington (Loetitia 
von Lewen), 1700-50, whose Memoirs appeared in 1748. Her husband, 
the Rev. Matthew Pilkington, whom Swift first befriended, and then 
came to regard as "a coxcomb and a knave," answers to Johnson's 

2 Margaret Caroline Rudd. See post, under February 1787. 

3 A beautiful courtesan. Reynolds painted her as Cleopatra. 


Bet Flint, but Bet Flint made herself very easy 
about that." 

How Mr. Crisp would have enjoyed this account ! 
He gave it all with so droll a solemnity, and it was 
all so unexpected, that Mrs. Thrale and I were both 
almost equally diverted. 

Streatham, August 26. — My opportunities for 
writing grow less and less, and my materials more 
and more. After breakfast I have scarcely a 
moment that I can spare all day. 

Mrs. Thrale I like more and more. Of all the 
people I have ever seen since I came into this 
" gay and gaudy world," * I never before saw the 
person who so strongly resembles our dear father. 
I find the likeness perpetually ; she has the same 
natural liveliness, the same general benevolence, 
the same rare union of gaiety and of feeling in her 

And so kind is she to me ! She told me at first 
that I should have all my mornings to myself, and 
therefore I have actually studied to avoid her, lest 
I should be in her way ; but since the first morning 
she seeks me, sits with me, saunters with me in the 
park, or compares notes over books in the library ; 
and her conversation is delightful ; it is so enter- 
taining, so gay, so enlivening, when she is in spirits, 
and so intelligent and instructive when she is other- 
wise, that I almost as much wish to record all she 
says, as all Dr. Johnson says. 

Proceed — no ! Go back, my muse, to Thursday. 

Dr. Johnson came home to dinner. 

In the evening he was as lively and full of wit 
and sport as I have ever seen him ; and Mrs. Thrale 
and I had him quite to ourselves ; for Mr. Thrale 
came in from giving an election dinner (to which 
he sent two bucks and six pine apples) so tired, 

1 Cf. the quatrain, ante, p. 83. 


that he neither opened his eyes nor mouth, but 
fell fast asleep. Indeed, after tea he generally 

Dr. Johnson was very communicative concern- 
ing his present work of the Lives of the Poets', 
Dryden is now in the press, and he told us he had 
been just writing a dissertation upon Hudibras. 

He gave us an account of Mrs. Lenox. 1 Her 
Female Quixote is very justly admired here. But 
Mrs. Thrale says that though her books are gener- 
ally approved, nobody likes her. I find she, among 
others, waited on Dr. Johnson upon her commen- 
cing writer, and he told us that, at her request, he 
carried her to Richardson. 

" Poor Charlotte Lenox ! " continued he ; " when 
we came to the house, she desired me to leave her, 
4 for,' says she, 4 1 am under great restraint in your 
presence, but if you leave me alone with Richard- 
son I'll give you a very good account of him ' : 
however, I fear poor Charlotte was disappointed, 
for she gave me no account at all ! " 

He then told us of two little productions of our 
Mr. Harris, 2 which we read ; they are very short 
and very clever : one is called Fashion, the other 
Much Ado, 3 and they are both of them full of a 
sportive humour, that I had not suspected to belong 
to Mr. Harris, the learned grammarian. 

Some time after, turning suddenly to me, he 
said, "Miss Burney, what sort of reading do you 
delight in ? History ? — travels ? — poetry ? — or 
romances ? " 

1 Charlotte Lenox, 1720-1804, author of the Female Quixote, 1752. She 
was befriended by most of the leading men of letters of her day. 

2 James Harris, of Salisbury, 1709-80 — "a most charming old man" — 
the author of Hermes ; or, a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Universal 
Grammar, 1751. He was also a writer upon music, and a composer (see 

( . — Early Diary, 1889, ii. 107). 

3 These are printed at the end of Sarah Fielding's Familiar Letters 
between the principal Characters in David Simple, and are there declared 
(in a footnote) to be " A kind Present to the Author by a Friend." 


" Oh, sir ! " cried I, " I dread being catechised by 
you. I dare not make any answer, for I fear 
whatever I should say would be wrong ! " 
" Whatever you should say — how's that ? " 
« Why, not whatever I should — but whatever I 
could say." 

He laughed, and to my great relief spared me 
any further questions upon the subject. Indeed, 
I was very happy I had the presence of mind to 
evade him as I did, for I am sure the examination 
which would have followed, had I made any direct 
answer, would have turned out sorely to my 

"Do you remember, sir," said Mrs. Thrale, 
"how you tormented poor Miss Brown about 
reading ? " 

" She might soon be tormented, madam," an- 
swered he, " for I am not yet quite clear she knows 
what a book is." 

" Oh, for shame ! " cried Mrs. Thrale, " she reads 
not only English, but French and Italian. She 
was in Italy a great while." 

" Pho ! " exclaimed he ; " Italian, indeed ! Do 
you think she knows as much Italian as Rose 
Fuller does English ? " 

" Well, well," said Mrs. Thrale, " Rose Fuller is a 
very good young man, for all he has not much com- 
mand of language, and though he is silly enough, 
yet I like him very well, for there is no manner 
of harm in him." 

Then she told me that he once said, "Dr. 
Johnson's conversation is so instructive that I'll 
ask him a question. ' Pray, sir, what is Palmyra ? 
I have often heard of it, but never knew what it 
was.' 'Palmyra, sir?' said the doctor; 'why, 
it is a hill in Ireland, situated in a bog, and has 
palm-trees at the top, whence it is called Palm- 



Whether or not he swallowed this account, I 
know not yet. 1 

"But Miss Brown," continued she, "is by no 
means such a simpleton as Dr. Johnson supposes 
her to be ; she is not very deep, indeed, but she is 
a sweet, and a very ingenuous girl, and nobody 
admired Miss Streatfield more. But she made a 
more foolish speech to Dr. Johnson than she would 
have done to anybody else, because she was so 
frightened and embarrassed that she knew not 
what she said. He asked her some question about 
reading, and she did, to be sure, make a very silly 
answer ; but she was so perplexed and bewildered, 
that she hardly knew where she was, and so she said 
the beginning of a book was as good as the end, or 
the end as good as the beginning, or some such stuff; 
and Dr. Johnson told her of it so often, saying, 
' Well, my dear, which part of a book do you like best 
now ? ' that poor Fanny Brown burst into tears ! " 

" I am sure I should have compassion for her," 
cried I ; " for nobody would be more likely to have 
blundered out such, or any such speech, from fright 
and terror." 

" You ? " cried Dr. Johnson. " No ; you are 
another thing ; she who could draw Smiths and 
Branghtons, is quite another thing." 

Mrs. Thrale then told some other stories of his 
degrading opinion of us poor fair sex ; I mean in 
general, for in particular he does them noble 
justice. Among others, was a Mrs. Somebody 
who spent a day here once, and of whom he asked, 
" Can she read ? " 

1 Mrs. Thrale (then Mrs. Piozzi), in relating this story, after Johnson's 
death, in her Anecdotes of him, adds — "Seeing however that the lad" 
(whom she does not name, but calls a " young fellow ") " thought him 
serious, and thanked him for the information, he undeceived him very 
gently indeed ; told him the history, geography, and chronology of Tad- 
mor in the Wilderness, with every incident that literature could furnish, I 
think, or eloquence express, from the building of Solomon's palace to the 
voyage of Dawkins and Wood." [Mrs. Barrett's note.] 


" Yes, to be sure," answered Mrs. Thrale ; " we 
have been reading together this afternoon." 

" And what book did you get for her ? " 

"Why, what happened to lie in the way, 
Hogarth's Analysis of' Beauty" 1 

" Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty ! What made 
you choose that ? " 

"Why, sir, what would you have had me take?" 

" What she could have understood — Cow-hide, 
or Cinderella ! " 

" Oh, Dr. Johnson ! " cried I ; " 'tis not for 
nothing you are feared ! " 

" Oh, you're a rogue ! " cried he, laughing, " and 
they would fear you if they knew you ! " 

"That they would," said Mrs. Thrale; "but 

she's so shy they don't suspect her. Miss P 

gave her an account of all her dress, to entertain her, 
t'other night ! To be sure she was very lucky to 
fix on Miss Burney for such conversation ! But I 
have been telling her she must write a comedy ; I 
am sure nobody could do it better. Is it not true, 
Dr. Johnson ? " 

I would fain have stopt her, but she was not to 
be stopped, and ran on saying such fine things ! 
though we had almost a struggle together ; and she 
said at last : 

"Well, authors may say what they will of 
modesty ; but I believe Miss Burney is really 
modest about her book, for her colour comes and 
goes every time it is mentioned." 

I then escaped to look for a book which we had 
been talking of, and Dr. Johnson, when I returned 
to my seat, said he wished Richardson had been 

" And then," he added, " she should have been 

1 The Analysis of Beauty. Written with a view of fixing the fluctuating 
Ideas of Taste, 1753. It is not a lucid book, and must have sadly mystified 
" Mrs. Somebody." < 


introduced to him — though I don't know neither — 
Richardson would have been afraid of her." 

" Oh yes ! that's a likely matter," quoth I. 

" It's very true," continued he ; " Richardson 
would have been really afraid of her ; there is merit 
in Evelina which he could not have borne. No ; 
it would not have done ! unless, indeed, she would 
have flattered him prodigiously. Harry Fielding, 
too, would have been afraid of her ; there is nothing 
so delicately finished in all Harry Fielding's works, 
as in Evelina ! " Then shaking his head at me, 
he exclaimed, " Oh, you little character-monger, 

Mrs. Thrale then returned to her charge, and 
again urged me about a comedy ; and again I tried 
to silence her, and we had a fine fight together ; 
till she called upon Dr. Johnson to back her. 

"Why, madam," said he, laughing, "she is 
writing one. What a rout is here, indeed ! she 
is writing one upstairs all the time. Who ever 
knew when she began Evelina?. She is working 
at some drama, depend upon it." 

" True, true, O king ! " thought I. 1 

"Well, that will be a sly trick!" cried Mrs. 
Thrale ; " however, you know best, I believe, about 
that, as well as about every other thing." 

Friday was a very full day. In the morning 
we began talking of Irene, 2 and Mrs. Thrale made 
Dr. Johnson read some passages which I had been 
remarking as uncommonly applicable to the present 
times. He read several speeches, and told us he 
had not ever read so much of it before since it was 
first printed. 

" Why, there is no making you read a play," 
said Mrs. Thrale, " either of your own, or any other 
person. What trouble had I to make you hear 

1 She was then engaged upon The Witlings. 
2 Johnson's own tragedy, acted and published in 1749. 


Murphy's Know your own Mind ! 1 ' Head rapidly, 
read rapidly,' you cried, and then took out your 
watch to see how long I was about it ! Well, we 
won't serve Miss Burney so, sir ; when we have 
her comedy we will do it all justice." 

Murphy, 2 it seems, is a very great favourite here ; 
he has been acquainted intimately with Mr. Thrale 
from both their boyhoods, and Mrs. Thrale is very 
partial to him. She told me, therefore, in a merry 
way, that though she wished me to excel Cumber- 
land, and all other dramatic writers, yet she would 
not wish me better than her old friend Murphy. 
I begged her, however, to be perfectly easy, and 
assured her I would take care not to eclipse him ! 

At noon Mrs. Thrale took me with her to 
Kensington, to see her little daughters Susan and 
Sophia, who are at school there. They are sweet 
little girls. 

When we were dressed for dinner, and went 
into the parlour, we had the agreeable surprise of 
seeing Mr. Seward there. I say agreeable, for not- 
withstanding our acquaintance began in a manner 
so extremely unpleasant to me, there is something 
of drollery, good sense, intelligence, and archness 
in this young man, that have not merely reconciled 
me to him, but brought me over to liking him vastly. 

There was also Mr. Lort, 3 who is reckoned one 
of the most learned men alive, and is also a col- 
lector of curiosities, alike in literature and natural 
history. His manners are somewhat blunt and 
odd, and he is altogether out of the common road, 
without having chosen a better path. 

1 A comedy, based upon Ulrrtsolu of Nericault Destouches, acted at 
Covent Garden in 1777, and printed in 1778. 

2 Arthur Murphy, the author and actor, 1727-1805. Fanny had acted 
in his Way to Keep Him at her uncle's at Barborne Lodge in 1777 {Early 
Diary, 1889, ii. 165). 

8 Michael Lort, D.D., 1725-90, the antiquary. At this date he was 
chaplain to the Bishop of Peterborough, and Vicar of Bottisham, near 


The day was passed most agreeably. In the 
evening we had, as usual, a literary conversation. 
I say we, only because Mrs. Thrale will make me 
take some share, by perpetually applying to me ; 
and, indeed, there can be no better house for rub- 
bing up the memory, as I hardly ever read, saw, 
or heard of any book that by some means or other 
has not been mentioned here. 

Mr. Lort produced several curious MSS. of the 
famous Bristol Chatterton ; among others, his will, 
and divers verses written against Dr. Johnson, as 
a placeman and pensioner ; all which he read aloud, 
with a steady voice and unmoved countenance. 

I was astonished at him ; Mrs. Thrale not much 
pleased ; Mr. Thrale silent and attentive ; and Mr. 
Seward was slily laughing. Dr. Johnson himself, 
listened profoundly and laughed openly. Indeed, 
I believe he wishes his abusers no other thing than 
a good dinner, like Pope. 1 

Just as we had got our biscuits and toast-and- 
water, which make the Streatham supper, and which, 
indeed, is all there is any chance of eating after our 
late and great dinners, Mr. Lort suddenly said, 

"Pray, ma'am, have you heard anything of a 
novel that runs about a good deal, called Evelina ? " 

What a ferment did this question, before such a 
set, put me in ! 

I did not know whether he spoke to me, or Mrs. 
Thrale ; and Mrs. Thrale was in the same doubt, 
and as she owned, felt herself in a little palpita- 
tion for me, not knowing what might come next. 
Between us both, therefore, he had no answer. 

" It has been recommended to me," continued 
he ; " but I have no great desire to see it, because 
it has such a foolish name. Yet I have heard a 
great deal of it, too." 

1 " I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still " {Prologue to the Satires ', 
1735, 1. 152). 


He then repeated Evelina — in a very languishing 
and ridiculous tone. 

My heart beat so quick against my stays that 
I almost panted with extreme agitation, from the 
dread either of hearing some horrible criticism, or 
of being betrayed : and I munched my biscuit as if 
I had not eaten for a fortnight. 

I believe the whole party were in some little 
consternation ; Dr. Johnson began see-sawing ; Mr. 

Thrale awoke ; Mr. E , l who I fear has picked 

up some notion of the affair from being so much 
in the house, grinned amazingly ; and Mr. Seward, 
biting his nails and flinging himself back in his 
chair, I am sure had wickedness enough to enjoy 
the whole scene. 

Mrs. Thrale was really a little fluttered, but 
without looking at me, said, 

"And pray what, Mr. Lort, what have you 
heard of it ? " 

[Now, had Mrs. Thrale not been flurried, this 
was the last question she should have ventured to 
ask before me. Only suppose what I must feel 
when I heard it.] 

"Why, they say," answered he, "that it's an 
account of a young lady's first entrance into com- 
pany, and of the scrapes she gets into ; and they 
say there's a great deal of character in it, but I 
have not cared to look in it, because the name is so 
foolish — Evelina ! " 

" Why foolish, sir ?" cried Dr. Johnson. "Where's 
the folly of it?" 

" Why, I won't say much for the name myself," 
said Mrs. Thrale, " to those who don't know the 
reason of it, which I found out, but which nobody 
else seems to know." 

She then explained the name from Evelyn, 
according to my own meaning. 

1 See ante, p. 79. 


"Well," said Dr. Johnson, "if that was the 
reason, it is a very good one." 

" Why, have you had the book here ? " cried 
Mr. Lort, staring. 

" Ay, indeed, have we," said Mrs. Thrale ; " I 
read it when I was last confined, and I laughed 
over it, and I cried over it ! " 

" Oh ho ! " said Mr. Lort, " this is another 
thing ! If you have had it here, I will certainly 
read it." 

" Had it ? ay," returned she ; " and Dr. Johnson, 
who would not look at it at first, was so caught 
by it when I put it in the coach with him that 
he has sung its praises ever since, — and he says 
Richardson would have been proud to have written 

"Oh ho! this is a good hearing!" cried Mr. 
Lort ; " if Dr. Johnson can read it, I shall get it 
with all speed." 

" You need not go far for it," said Mrs. Thrale, 
"for it's now upon yonder table." 

I could sit still no longer ; there was something 
so awkward, so uncommon, so strange in my then 
situation, that I wished myself a hundred miles 
off ; and, indeed, I had almost choked myself with 
the biscuit, for I could not for my life swallow it ; 
and so I got up, and, as Mr. Lort went to the 
table to look for Evelina, I left the room, and was 
forced to call for water to wash down the biscuit, 
which literally stuck in my throat. 

I heartily wished Mr. Lort at Jerusalem. Not- 
withstanding all this may read as nothing, because 
all that was said was in my favour, yet at the time, 
when I knew not what might be said, I suffered the 
most severe trepidation. 

I did not much like going back, but the 
moment I recovered breath I resolved not to 
make bad worse by staying longer away : but at 


the door of the room I met Mrs. Thrale, who, ask- 
ing me if I would have some water, took me into 
a back room, and burst into a hearty fit of laughter. 

"This is very good sport!" cried she; "the 
man is as innocent about the matter as a child, and 
we shall hear what he says to it to-morrow at 
breakfast. I made a sign to Dr. Johnson and 
Seward not to tell him." 

When she found I was not in a humour to 
think it such good sport as she did, she grew 
more serious, and, taking my hand, kindly said — 

" May you never, Miss Burney, know any other 
pain than that of hearing yourself praised ! and I 
am sure that you must often feel." 

[When I told her how much I dreaded being 
discovered, and besought her not to betray me 
any further, she again began laughing, and openly 
declared she should not consult me about the 
matter. I was really uneasy — nay, quite un- 
comfortable, — for the first time I have been so 
since I came thither, but as we were obliged soon 
to return, I could not then press my request with 
the earnestness I wished. But she told me that 
as soon as I had left the room when Mr. Lort 
took up Evelina, he exclaimed contemptuously, 
" Why, it's printed for Lowndes ! " and that Dr. 
Johnson then told him there were things and 
characters in it more than worthy of Fielding. 

" Oh ho ! " cried Mr. Lort, " what, is it better 
than Fielding ? " 

"Harry Fielding," answered Dr. Johnson, 
"knew nothing but the shell of life." 

" So you, ma'am," added the flattering Mrs. 
Thrale, " have found the kernel." 

Are they all mad ? or do they want to make 
me so ?] 

When we returned, to my great joy, they were 
talking of other subjects, yet I could not sufficiently 


recover myself the whole evening to speak one 
word but in answer ; [for the dread of the criticisms 
which Mr. Lort might innocently make the next 
day, kept me in a most uncomfortable state of 

When Mrs. Thrale and I retired, she not only, 
as usual, accompanied me to my room, but stayed 
with me at least an hour, talking over the affair. 
I seized with eagerness this favourable opportunity 
of conjuring her not merely not to tell Mr. Lort 
my secret, but ever after never to tell anybody. 
For a great while she only laughed, saying — 

"Poor Miss Burney ! so you thought just to 
have played and sported with your sisters and 
cousins, and had it all your own way ; but now you 
are in for it ! But if you will be an author and a 
wit, you must take the consequences ! " 

But when she found me seriously urgent and 
really frightened, she changed her note, and said, 

"Oh, if I find you are in earnest in desiring 
concealment, I shall quite scold you ; for if such 
a desire does not proceed from affectation, 'tis from 
something worse." 

"No, indeed," cried I, " not from affectation ; 
for my conduct has been as uniform in trying to 
keep snug as my words, and I never have wavered : 
I never have told anybody out of my own family, 
nor half the bodies in it. And I have so long 
forborne making this request to you for no other 
reason in the world but for fear you should think 
me affected." 

" Well, I won't suspect you of affectation," 
returned she — "nay, I can't, for you have looked 
like your namesake in the Clandestine Marriage 1 
all this evening, ' of fifty colours, I wow and 

1 A famous old comedy by the elder Colman and Garrick, 1766, in 
which one of the characters is named Fanny. It is very frequently 
quoted by Miss Burney, in whose family it was a favourite. Mrs. Thrale 
is echoing the vulgar Mrs. Heidelberg of the play. 


purtest ' ; but when I clear you of that, I leave 
something worse." 

" And what, dear madam, what can be worse ? " 

"Why, an over -delicacy that may make you 
unhappy all your life. Indeed you must check it 
— you must get the better of it : for why should 
you write a book, print a book, and have everybody 
read and like your book, and then sneak in a corner 
and disown it ! " 

" My printing it, indeed," said I, " tells terribly 
against me to all who are unacquainted with the 
circumstances that belonged to it, but I had so 
little notion of being discovered, and was so well 
persuaded that the book would never be heard of, 
that I really thought myself as safe, and meant to 
be as private, when the book was at Mr. Lowndes's, 
as when it was in my own bureau." 

"Well, I don't know what we shall do with 
you ! But indeed you must blunt a little of this 
delicacy, for the book has such success, that if you 
don't own it, somebody else will ! " 

Yet notwithstanding all her advice, and all her 
encouragement, I was so much agitated by the 
certainty of being known as a scribbler, that I 
was really ill all night and could not sleep. 

When Mrs. Thrale came to me the next 
morning, she was quite concerned to find I had 
really suffered from my panics. 

" Oh, Miss Burney," cried she, " what shall we 
do with you ? This must be conquered ; indeed 
this delicacy must be got over." 

"Don't call it delicacy," cried I, "when I 
know you only think it folly." 

" Why, indeed," said she, laughing, " it is not 
very wise ! " 

" Well," cried I, " if, indeed, I am in for it, why 
I must seriously set about reconciling myself — yet 
I never can ! " 

VOL. I h 


" We all love you," said the sweet woman, 
" we all love you dearly already ; but the time 
will come when we shall all be proud of you — so 
proud, we shall not know where to place you ! 
You must set about a comedy ; and set about it 
openly ; it is the true style of writing for you : 
but you must give up all these fears and this 
shyness ; you must do it without any disadvantages ; 
and we will have no more of such sly, sneaking, 
private ways ! " 

[I told her of my fright while at Chessington 
concerning Mrs. Williams, and of the letter I wrote 
to beg my father would hasten to caution her. 

" And did he ? " said she. 

" Oh yes ! directly." 

" Oh, fie ! I am ashamed of him ! how can he 
think of humouring you in such maggots ? If 
the book had not been liked, I would have said 
nothing to it. But it is a sweet book, and the 
great beauty of it is that it reflects back all our 
own ideas and observations ; for everybody must 
have met with some thing similar to almost all the 

In short, had I been the child of this delightful 
woman, she could not have taken more pains to 
reconcile me to my situation : even when she 
laughed, she contrived, by her manner, still to 
reassure or to soothe me. 

[We went down together. My heart was in 
my mouth as we got to the library, where all the 
gentlemen were waiting. I made Mrs. Thrale go in 
before me. 

Mr. Lort was seated close to the door, Evelina 
in his hand. Mrs. Thrale began with asking how 
he found it ? — I could not, if my life had depended 
on it, I am sure I could not, at that moment, have 
followed her in, and therefore, I skipped into the 


However foolish all this may seem, the foolery 
occasioned me no manner of fun, for I was quite 
in an agony. However, as I met with Miss 
Thrale, in a few minutes we went into the library 

Dr. Johnson was later than usual this morning, 
and did not come down till our breakfast was over, 
and Mrs. Thrale had risen to give some orders, I 
believe : I, too, rose, and took a book at another 
end of the room. Some time after, before he had 
yet appeared, Mr. Thrale called out to me, 

" So, Miss Burney, you have a mind to feel your 
legs before the doctor comes ? " 

" Why so ? " cried Mr. Lort. 

" Why, because when he comes she will be con- 

"Ay?— how is that?" 

"Why, he never lets her leave him, but keeps 
her prisoner till he goes to his own room." 

" Oh, ho ! " cried Mr. Lort, " she is in great 
favour with him." 

"Yes," said Mr. Seward, "and I think he shows 
his taste." 

"I did not know," said Mr. Lort, "but he 
might keep her to help him in his Lives of the Poets, 
if she's so clever." 

"And yet," said Mrs. Thrale, "Miss Burney 
never flatters him, though she is such a favourite 
with him ; — but the tables are turned, for he sits 
and flatters her all day long." 

" I don't flatter him," said I, " because nothing 
I could say would flatter him." 

Mrs. Thrale then told a story of Hannah More, 
which I think exceeds, in its severity, all the severe 
things I have yet heard of Dr. Johnson's saying. 

When she was introduced to him, not long ago, 
she began singing his praise in the warmest manner, 
and talking of the pleasure and the instruction she 


had received from his writings, with the highest 
encomiums. For some time he heard her with 
that quietness which a long use of praise has given 
him : she then redoubled her strokes, and, as Mr. 
Seward calls it, peppered still more highly * : till, at 
length, he turned suddenly to her, with a stern and 
angry countenance, and said, " Madam, before you 
flatter a man so grossly to his face, you should 
consider whether or not your flattery is worth his 
having." 2 

Mr. Seward then told another instance of his 
determination not to mince the matter, when he 
thought reproof at all deserved. During a visit of 
Miss Brown's to Streatham, he was inquiring of 
her several things that she could not answer ; and, 
as he held her so cheap in regard to books, he 
began to question her concerning domestic affairs, 
— puddings, pies, plain work, and so forth. Miss 
Brown, not at all more able to give a good account 
of herself in these articles than in the others, began 
all her answers with, " Why, sir, one need not be 
obliged to do so, — or so," whatever was the thing 
in question. When he had finished his interroga- 
tories, and she had finished her "need nots," he 
ended the discourse with saying, "As to your 
needs, my dear, they are so very many, that you 
would be frightened yourself if you knew half of 

1 " Who pepper 'd the highest was sure to please." 

Goldsmith's Retaliation, 1. 112. 
2 Boswell also tells this story. See pp. 341, 342, and notes in Hill's 
Boswell, 1887, iv. See also post, p. 119. 



Anecdotes of Johnson — A dinner at Streatham — Sir Joshua 
Reynolds — Mystification — Dr. Calvert — Mrs. Cholmondeley 
— Edmund Burke — His opinion of Evelina — Mrs. Montagu 
— Dr. Johnson's household — A collection of oddities — A 
poor scholar — The Lives of the Poets — Visit of Mrs. Montagu 
to Streatham — Johnson's opinion of her — Character of 
Johnson's conversation — His compliments and rebuffs — 
Table-talk of Johnson, Mrs. Montagu, and Mrs. Thrale — 
The value of critical abuse — Dr. Johnson's severe speeches 
— "Civil for four" — Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith — Dr. 
Jebb — Match-making — Critics and authors — Letter from 
Mr. Crisp — Mr. Seward — A grand dinner at Streatham — 
High heels — Table-talk — The distinctions of rank — Irene — 
Hannah More — Her play — Letter from Mr. Crisp — How to 
write a comedy. 

After breakfast on Friday, or yesterday, a 
curious trait occurred of Dr. Johnson's jocosity. 
It was while the talk ran so copiously upon their 
urgency that I should produce a comedy. While 
Mrs. Thrale was in the midst of her flattering per- 
suasions, the doctor, see-sawing in his chair, began 
laughing to himself so heartily as to almost shake 
his seat as well as his sides. We stopped our con- 
fabulation, in which he had ceased to join, hoping 
he would reveal the subject of his mirth ; but he 
enjoyed it inwardly, without heeding our curiosity, 
— till at last he said he had been struck with a 
notion that "Miss Burney would begin her dra- 
matic career by writing a piece called ' Streatham.' ' 



He paused, and laughed yet more cordially, and 
then suddenly commanded a pomposity to his 
countenance and his voice, and added, " Yes ! 
1 Streatham — a Farce ! ' " 

[How little did I expect from this Lexiphanes, 
this great and dreaded lord of English literature, a 
turn for burlesque humour.] 

Streatham, September. — Our journey hither 
proved, as it promised, most sociably cheerful, and 
Mrs. Thrale opened still further upon the subject 
she began in St. Martin's Street, 1 of Dr. Johnson's 
kindness towards me. To be sure she saw it was 
not totally disagreeable to me ; though I was really 
astounded when she hinted at my becoming a rival 
to Miss Streatfleld in the doctor's good graces. 

" I had a long letter," she said, " from Sophy 
Streatfleld 2 t'other day, and she sent Dr. Johnson 
her elegant edition of the ' Classics ' ; but when he 
had read the letter, he said, ' She is a sweet creature, 
and I love her much ; but my little Burney writes 
a better letter.' Now," continued she, "that is 
just what I wished him to say of you both." 

[Mr. Thrale came out to the door, and received 
me with more civility than ever ; indeed we are 
beginning to grow a little acquainted.] 

We had no company all day ; but Mr. Thrale, 
being in much better spirits than when I was here 
last, joined in the conversation, and we were mighty 

1 That is to say, at No. 1 St. Martin's Street, to which the Burneys 
had moved from Queen Square, Bloomsbury, early in 1774. The house, 
which still exists as No. 35, had formerly been Sir Isaac Newton's. He 
lived in it from 1710 to 1725. At the top was a small-paned wooden 
turret with a leaden roof, which passed for his observatory, and has long 
since disappeared. Fanny used this occasionally as her scriptorium {Early 
Diary, 1889, i. 304). 

2 Miss Sophia Streatfleld of Tunbridge Wells was a beauty ; and like 
Miss Elizabeth Carter, a Greek scholar. 

Smiling Streatfield's iv'ry neck, 
Nose and notions— a la Grecque, 

are celebrated in the Morning Herald for March 12, 1782. She often 
appears hereafter in Fanny's pages. 

No. 35 St. Martin's Street, 1904 


agreeable. But he has taken it into his head to 
insist upon it that I am a spouter. 1 To be sure 
I can't absolutely deny the fact ; but yet I am 
certain he never had any reason to take such a 
notion. However, he has repeatedly asked me to 
read a tragedy to him, and insists upon it that I 
should do it marvellous well ; and when I ask him 
why, he says I have such a marking face. How- 
ever, I told him I would as soon act to Mr. 
Garrick, or try attitudes to Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
as read to anybody at Streatham. 

The next morning, after church, I took a stroll 
round the grounds, and was followed by Miss 
Thrale, with a summons into the parlour, to see 
Miss Brown. I willingly obeyed it, for I wished 
much to have a peep at her. 

She is very like the Duchess of Devonshire, only 
less handsome ; and, as I expected, seems a gay, 
careless, lively, good-humoured girl. She came on 
horseback, and stayed but a short time. 

Our Monday's intended great party was very 
small, for people are so dispersed at present in 
various quarters, that nothing is more difficult than 
to get them together. In the list of invitations 
were included Mr. Garrick, Sir Richard Jebb, l? Mr. 
Lort, Mr. Seward, Miss Brown, and Mr. Murphy, 
— all of whom were absent from town : we had 
therefore, only Sir Joshua Reynolds, 3 the two 
Miss Palmers, 4 Dr. Calvert, Mr. Rose Fuller, and 
Lady Ladd. 5 Dr. Johnson did not return. 

1 A reader or reciter. Murphy's Apprentice, 1756, was aimed at the 
so-called Spouting Clubs. Miss Burney had a weak voice, and was not a 
good reader. At p. 30 she refers to her " mauling reading," though, to 
be sure, in this case, there was reason for embarrassment. 

2 See ante, p. 75. 

3 Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1723-92, was a neighbour of the Burneys at 
St. Martin's Street. His house was in Leicester Fields, No. 47. 

4 Sir Joshua's nieces. Mary, the elder (1750-1820), became in 1792 
Marchioness of Thomond ; Theophila, " Offy " or "Offic" (1756-1848), 
married Mr. R. L. Gwatkin in 1783. Reynolds painted them both, 

5 Lady Lade was the sister of Mr. Thrale, and the mother of Sir John 
Lade (see ante, p. 72). She had been handsome and was very tall. 


Sir Joshua I am much pleased with : I like his 
countenance, and I like his manners, the former 
I think expressive, soft, and sensible ; the latter 
gentle, unassuming, and engaging. 

The eldest Miss Palmer seems to have a better 
understanding than Offy ; but Offy has the most 
pleasing face. Dr. Calvert 1 1 did not see enough of 
to think about. 

The dinner, in quantity as well as quality, would 
have sufficed for forty people. Sir Joshua said, 
when the dessert appeared, " Now if all the com- 
pany should take a fancy to the same dish, there 
would be sufficient for all the company from any 

After dinner, as usual, we strolled out : I ran 
first into the hall for my cloak, and Mrs. Thrale, 
running after me, said in a low voice, 

" If you are taxed with Evelina, don't own it ; 
I intend to say it is mine, for sport's sake." 

You may think how much I was surprised, 
and how readily I agreed not to own it ; but I 
could ask no questions, for the two Miss Palmers 
followed close, saying, 

" Now pray, ma'am, tell us who it is ? " 

"No, no," cried Mrs. Thrale, "who it is, you 
must find out ; I have told you that you dined 
with the author ; but the rest you must make out 
as you can." 

Miss Thrale began tittering violently, but I 
entreated her not to betray me ; and, as soon as I 
could, I got Mrs. Thrale to tell me what all this 
meant. She then acquainted me, that when she 
first came into the parlour, she found them all busy 
in talking of Evelina ; and heard that Sir Joshua 
had declared he would give fifty pounds to know 
the author. 

1 Calvert was the name of Mr. Seward's father's partner. This was 
probably a relative. 


"Well," said Mrs. Thrale, "thus much, then, 
I will tell you ; the author will dine with you 

They were then all distracted to know the 

" Why," said she, " we shall have Dr. Calvert, 
Lady Ladd, Rose Fuller, and Miss Burney." 

" Miss Burney ? " quoth they, " which Miss 
Burney ? " 

" Why, the eldest, Miss Fanny Burney ; and so 
out of this list, you must make out the author." 

I shook my head at her, but begged her, at 
least, to go no further. 

" No, no," cried she, laughing, " leave me alone ; 
the fun will be to make them think it mine." 

However, as I learnt at night, when they were 
gone, Sir Joshua was so very importunate with 
Mr. Thrale, and attacked him with such eagerness, 
that he made him confess who it was, as soon as 
the ladies retired. 

Well, to return to our walk. The Miss Palmers 
grew more and more urgent. 

"Did we indeed," said the eldest, "dine with 
the author of Evelina ? " 

" Yes, in good truth did you." 

" Why then, ma'am, it was yourself ! " 

" I shan't tell you whether it was or not ; but 
were there not other people at dinner besides me ? 
What think you of Dr. Calvert ? " 

" Dr. Calvert ? no, no ; I am sure it was not 
he : besides, they say it was certainly written by a 

" By a woman ? nay, then, is not here Lady 
Ladd, and Miss Burney, and Hester ? " x 

" Lady Ladd I am sure it was not, nor could it 
be Miss Thrale's. Oh, ma'am ! I begin to think it 
was really yours ! Now, was it not, Mrs. Thrale ? " 

1 i.e. " Queenie " Thrale 


Mrs. Thrale only laughed. Lady Ladd, coming 
suddenly behind me, put her hands on my shoulders, 
and whispered, 

"Shall I tell?" 

"Tell ?— tell what ? " cried I, amazed. 

" Why, whose it is ! " 

" Oh, ma'am," cried I, " who has been so wicked 
as to tell your ladyship ? " 

" Oh, no matter for that ; I have known it some 

I entreated her, however, to keep counsel, 
though I could not forbear expressing my surprise 
and chagrin. 

" A lady of our acquaintance," said Miss Palmer, 
" Mrs. Cholmondeley, went herself to the printer, 
but he would not tell." 

" Would he not ? " cried Mrs. Thrale ; " why, 
then, he's an honest man." 

" Oh, is he so ? — nay, then, it is certainly Mrs. 

"Well, well, I told you before I should not 
deny it." 

"Miss Burney," said she, "pray do you deny 
it ? " in a voice that seemed to say, — I must ask 
round, though rather from civility than suspicion. 

"Me?" cried I, "oh no: if nobody else will 
deny it, why should I ? It does not seem the 
fashion to deny it." 

" No, in truth," cried she ; " I believe nobody 
would think of denying it that could claim it, for 
it is the sweetest book in the world. My uncle 
could not go to bed till he had finished it, and he 
says he is sure he shall make love to the author, if 
ever he meets with her, and it should really be a 
woman ! " 

"Dear madam," cried Miss Offy, "I am sure 
it was you ; but why will you not own it at 
once ? 


" I shall neither own nor deny anything about 

" A gentleman whom we know very well," said 
Miss Palmer, " when he could learn nothing at the 
printer's, took the trouble to go all about Snow 
Hill, to see if he could find any silversmiths." l 

" Well, he was a cunning creature ! " said Mrs. 
Thrale ; " but Dr. Johnson's favourite is Mr. 

" So he is of everybody," answered she ; " he 
and all that family : everybody says such a family 
never was drawn before. But Mrs. Cholmondeley's 
favourite is Madame Duval ; she acts her from 
morning to night, and ma-fois everybody she sees. 
But though we all want so much to know the 
author, both Mrs. Cholmondeley and my uncle 
himself say they should be frightened to death to 
be in her company, because she must be such a 
very nice observer, that there would be no escaping 
her with safety." 

What strange ideas are taken from mere book- 
reading ! But what follows gave me the highest 
delight I can feel. 

" Mr. Burke," 2 she continued, " doats on it : he 
began it one morning at 7 o'clock, and could not 
leave it a moment ; he sat up all night reading it. 
He says he has not seen such a book he can't tell 

Mrs. Thrale gave me involuntarily a look of 
congratulation, and could not forbear exclaiming, 
" How glad she was Mr. Burke approved it ! " 
This served to confirm the Palmers in their mis- 
take, and they now, without further questioning, 
quietly and unaffectedly concluded the book to 
be really Mrs. Thrale's ; and Miss Palmer said, 

1 Mr. Branghton of Evelina was a silversmith on Snow Hill. 

2 The first mention of Fanny's most illustrious friend after Johnson, 
Edmund Burke, 1729-97. His portrait was included in the Thrale Gallery. 


" Indeed, ma'am, you ought to write a novel every 
year : nobody can write like you ! " 

[I was both delighted and diverted at this mis- 
take, and they grew so easy and so satisfied under 
it, that the conversation dropped, and Offy went 
to the harpsichord. 

When the gentlemen came in to tea, Rose 
Fuller, who sat on the other side of me, began a 
conversation with the Miss Palmers in a very low 
voice, and they listened with the most profound 
attention ; but presently, hearing Miss Palmer say, 
" How astonishing ! what an extraordinary per- 
formance ! what a nice observer she must be ! " I 
began to fear Rose Fuller was himself au fait. 
However, they all spoke so low, I could only now 
and then gather a word ; but I found the tenour of 
the conversation to be all commendation, mixed 
with expressions of surprise. 

Lady Ladd would not let me listen as I wished 
to do, for she interrupted me to ask (almost killing 
herself with laughter as she spoke) whether I was 
ever at Vauxhall the last night ? I knew what 
she meant, and wished young Branghton over head 
and ears in a kennel for drawing me into such a 

Not long after, the party broke up, and they 
took leave. 

I had no conversation with Sir Joshua all day ; 
but I found myself much more an object of atten- 
tion to him than I wished to be ; and he several 
times spoke to me, though he did not make love ! l 

When they rose to take leave, Miss Palmer, 
with the air of asking the greatest of favours, hoped 
to see me when I returned to town ; and Sir Joshua, 
approaching me with the most profound respect, 
inquired how long I should remain at Streatham ? 
A week, I believed : and then he hoped, when I 

1 See Sir Joshua's declaration above, p. 106. 


left it, they should have the honour of seeing me 
in Leicester Square. 

In short, the joke is, the people speak as if they 
were afraid of me, instead of my being afraid of 
them. It seems, when they got to the door, Miss 
Palmer said to Mrs. Thrale, 

" Ma'am, so it's Miss Burney after all ! " 
"Ay, sure," answered she, "who should it be ?" 
" Ah ! why did not you tell us sooner ? " said 
OfTy, "that we might have had a little talk 
about it ? " 

Here, therefore, end all my hopes of secrecy ! 
I take leave of them with the utmost regret, and 
though never yet was any scribbler drawn more 
honourably, more creditably, more partially into 
notice, I nevertheless cannot persuade myself to 
rejoice in the loss of my dear old obscurity. 

Tuesday morning, Mrs. Thrale asked me if I 
did not want to see Mrs. Montagu ? 1 I truly said, 
I should be the most insensible of all animals not 
to like to see our sex's glory. 

"Well," said she, "we'll try to make you see 
her. Sir Joshua says she is in town, and I will 
write and ask her here. I wish you to see her of 
all things." 

Mrs. Thrale wrote her note before breakfast. 

I had a great deal of private confab afterwards 
with Lady Ladd and Miss Thrale, concerning Miss 
Streatfleld : I find she is by no means a favourite 
with either of them, though she is half adored by 
Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, and by Dr. Johnson. And 
Lady Ladd, among other things, mentioned her 
being here once when Mrs. Montagu came, and 

1 Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, n6e Robinson, 1720-1800, letter-writer, leader 
of society, and originator of " The Blue Stocking Club." In 1769 she had 
published an Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear. There is 
a well-known mezzotint of her by J. R. Smith, after Reynolds, dated 1776. 
See Johnson's praise of her at p. 116. 


blamed Mrs. Thrale for making much of her before 
Mrs. Montagu ; "who," she added, " has no notion 
of any girl acquaintance, and indeed, makes a point 
of only cultivating people of consequence/' 

I determined, in my own mind, to make use of 
this hint, and keep myself as much cut of her way 
as I could. Indeed, at any rate, a woman of such 
celebrity in the literary world would be the last I 
should covet to converse with, though one of the 
first I should wish to listen to. 

Lady Ladd went to town before dinner. Her 
ladyship is immensely civil to me, and we are 
mighty facetious together. I find she has really 
some drollery about her, when she lays aside her 
dignity and stateliness, and is very fond of jocose- 
ness, to which she contributes her part much better 
than I first imagined she could. 

An answer came from Mrs. Montagu at noon. 
Mrs. Thrale gave it me to read : it was in a high 
strain of politesse, 1 expressed equal admiration and 
regard for Mrs. Thrale, and accepted her invitation 
for the next day. But what was my surprise to 
read, at the bottom of the letter, " I have not yet 
seen Evelina, but will certainly get it : and if it 
should not happen to please me, the disgrace must 
be mine, not the author's." 

"Oh, ma'am," cried I, "what does this mean?" 

" Why, only," said she, " that, in my letter this 
morning I said, ' Have you seen the new work called 
Evelina ? it was written by an amiable young friend 
of mine, and I wish much to know your opinion 
of it ; for if you should not approve it, what 
signifies the approbation of a Johnson, a Burke, 

[Oh, what a woman is this Mrs. Thrale ! — since 
she will make the book known, — how sweet a 

1 Cf. Early Diary, 1889, ii. 157, where Johnson and Mrs. Thrale discuss 
one of her alembicated epistles. 


method was this of letting Mrs. Montagu know 
the honour it has received !] 

Before dinner, to my great joy, Dr. Johnson 
returned home from Warley Common. 1 I followed 
Mrs. Thrale into the library to see him, and he is 
so near-sighted that he took me for Miss Streat- 
fleld : but he did not welcome me less kindly when 
he found his mistake, which Mrs. Thrale made 
known by saying, " No, 'tis Miss Streatfield's rival, 
Miss Burney." 

At tea-time the subject turned upon the 
domestic economy of Dr. Johnson's own household. 
Mrs. Thrale has often acquainted me that his house 
is quite filled and overrun with all sorts of strange 
creatures, whom he admits for mere charity, and 
because nobody else will admit them — for his 
charity is unbounded, — or, rather, bounded only 
by his circumstances. 

The account he gave of the adventures and 
absurdities of the set was highly diverting, but too 
diffused for writing, though one or two speeches I 
must give. I think I shall occasionally theatricalise 
my dialogues. 

Mrs. Thrale. — Pray, sir, how does Mrs. Williams 
like all this tribe ? 

Dr. Johnson. — Madam, she does not like them 
at all ; but their fondness for her is not greater. 
She and De Mullin 2 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. 

Mrs. T. — And pray, sir, what is Mr. Macbean ? 3 

1 Fears of French invasion had established a camp at Warley Common 
in Essex ; and Johnson had been to visit Bennet Langton, who was a 
captain in the Lincolnshire Militia. 

2 Mrs. Desmoulins was the daughter of Johnson's godfather, Dr. 
Swinfen, and the widow of a writing-master named Desmoulins. She was 
with Johnson when he died. 

3 Alexander Macbean, d. 1784. His Dictionary of Ancient Geography 
appeared in 1773, with a Preface by Johnson. 


Dr. J. — Madam, he is a Scotchman : he is a 
man of great learning, and for his learning I respect 
him, and I wish to serve him. He knows many 
languages, and knows them well ; but he knows 
nothing of life. I advised him to write a geo- 
graphical dictionary ; but I have lost all hopes 
of his ever doing anything properly, since I found 
he gave as much labour to Capua as to Rome. 

Mr. T. — And pray who is clerk of your kitchen, 

Dr. J. — Why, sir, I am afraid there is none ; a 
general anarchy prevails in my kitchen, as I am 
told by Mr. Levat, 1 who says it is not now what it 
used to be ! 

Mrs. T. — Mr. Levat, I suppose, sir, has the 
office of keeping the hospital in health ? for he is 
an apothecary. 

Dr. J. — Levat, 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, De Mullin has the chief manage- 
ment of the kitchen ; but our roasting is not magni- 
ficent, 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 

1 Robert Levett, 1701-82, a worthy but eccentric surgeon who had been 
domesticated with Johnson since 1763. Some of the doctor's best verses 
were prompted by his old friend's death. Here are stanzas 2 and 7 : — 

Well tried through many a varying year, 

See Levett to the grave descend, 
Officious, innocent, sincere, 

Of every friendless name the friend. 

His virtues walked their narrow round, 
Nor made a pause, nor left a void ; 

And sure the Eternal Master found 
The single talent well-employed. 


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 1 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. I wish Miss 
Burney would come among us ; if she would only 
give us a week, we should furnish her with ample 
materials for a new scene in her next work. 

A little while after he asked Mrs. Thrale, who 
had read Evelina in his absence ? 

" Who ? " cried she ; — " why, Burke ! — Burke sat 
up all night to finish it ; and Sir Joshua Reynolds 
is mad about it, and said he would give fifty pounds 
to know the author. But our fun was with his 
nieces — we made them believe I wrote the book, 
and the girls gave me the credit of it at once." 

"I am sorry for it, madam," cried he, quite 
angrily, — " you were much to blame ; deceits of 
that kind ought never to be practised ; they have a 
worse tendency than you are aware of." 

Mrs. T. — Why, don't frighten yourself, sir ; 
Miss Burney will have all the credit she has a right 
to, for I told them whose it was before they went. 

1 Miss Carmichael, otherwise " Poll," another of Johnson's pensioners. 


Dr. J. — But you were very wrong for misleading 
them a moment ; such jests are extremely blam- 
able ; they are foolish in the very act, and they are 
wrong, because they always leave a doubt upon the 
mind. What first passed will be always recollected 
by those girls, and they will never feel clearly con- 
vinced which wrote the book, Mrs. Thrale or Miss 

Mrs. T. — Well, well, I am ready to take my 
Bible oath it was not me ; and if that won't do, 
Miss Burney must take hers too. 

I was then looking over the Life of Cowley, 1 
which he had himself given me to read, at the same 
time that he gave to Mrs. Thrale that of Waller. 
They are now printed, though they will not be 
published for some time. But he bade me put it 

"Do," cried he, "put away that now, and 
prattle with us ; I can't make this little Burney 
prattle, and I am sure she prattles well ; but 1 
shall teach her another lesson than to sit thus silent 
before I have done with her." 

" To talk," cried I, " is the only lesson I shall 
be backward to learn from you, sir." 

"You shall give me," cried he, "a discourse 
upon the passions : come, begin ! Tell us the 
necessity of regulating them, watching over and 
curbing them ! Did you ever read Norris's Theory 
of Love V' 2 

" No, sir," said I, laughing, yet staring a 

Dr. J. — Well, it is worth your reading. He 
will make you see that inordinate love is the root 
of all evil : inordinate love of wealth brings on 
avarice ; of wine, brings on intemperance ; of 

1 The first of the Lives of the Poets. It had been sent to press in 
December 1777. Waller, Denham, and Butler came next. 

2 Published in 1688. The author, a mystic and disciple of Malebranche, 
was the Rev. John Norris, 1657-1711, rector of Bemerton. 


power, brings on cruelty ; and so on. He deduces 
from inordinate love all human frailty. 

Mrs. T. — To-morrow, sir, Mrs. Montagu dines 
here, and then you will have talk enough. 

Dr. Johnson began to see-saw, with a counte- 
nance strongly expressive of inward fun, and 
after enjoying it some time in silence, he suddenly, 
and with great animation, turned to me and 

"Down with her, Burney ! — down with her! — 
spare her not ! — attack her, fight her, and down 
with her at once ! You are a rising wit, and she is 
at the top ; and when I was beginning the world, 
and was nothing and nobody, the joy of my life 
was to fire at all the established wits ! and then 
everybody loved to halloo me on. But there is no 
game now ; everybody would be glad to see me 
conquered : but then, when I was new, to vanquish 
the great ones was all the delight of my poor little 
dear soul ! So at her, Burney — at her, and down 
with her ! " 

Oh, how we were all amused ! By the way I 
must tell you that Mrs. Montagu is in very great 
estimation here, even with Dr. Johnson himself, 
when others do not praise her improperly. Mrs. 
Thrale ranks her as the first of women in the 
literary way. I should have told you that Miss 
Gregory, daughter of the Gregory who wrote the 
Letters, or, Legacy of Advice, 1 lives with Mrs. 
Montagu, and was invited to accompany her. 

" Mark now," said Dr. Johnson, " if I contradict 
her to-morrow. I am determined, let her say what 
she will, that I will not contradict her." 

Mrs. T. — Why, to be sure, sir, you did put her 
a little out of countenance last time she came. 
Yet you were neither rough, nor cruel, nor ill- 

1 John Gregory, M.D., 1724-73. His letters, entitled A Fathers 
Legacy to His Daughters, were published posthumously in 1774. 


natured ; but still, when a lady changes colour, we 
imagine her feelings are not quite composed. 

Dr. J. — Why, madam, I won't answer that I 
shan't contradict her again, if she provokes me as 
she did then ; but a less provocation I will with- 
stand. I believe I am not high in her good graces 
already ; and I begin (added he, laughing heartily) 
to tremble for my admission into her new house. 1 
I doubt I shall never see the inside of it. 

(Mrs. Montagu is building a most superb house.) 

Mrs. T. — Oh, I warrant you, she fears you, in- 
deed ; but that, you know, is nothing uncommon : 
and dearly I love to hear your disquisitions ; for 
certainly she is the first woman for literary know- 
ledge in England, and if in England, I hope I may 
say in the world. 

Dr. J. — I believe you may, madam. She diffuses 
more knowledge in her conversation than any 
woman I know, or, indeed, almost any man. 

Mrs. T. — I declare I know no man equal to her, 
take away yourself and Burke, for that art. And 
you who love magnificence, won't quarrel with 
her, as everybody else does, for her love of finery. 

Dr. J. — No, I shall not quarrel with her upon 
that topic. (Then, looking earnestly at me), 
" Nay," he added, " it's very handsome ! " 

" What, sir ? " cried I, amazed. 

" Why, your cap : — I have looked at it some 
time, and I like it much. It has not that vile 
bandeau across it, which I have so often cursed." 

Did you ever hear anything so strange ? nothing 
escapes him. My Daddy Crisp is not more minute 
in his attentions : nay, I think he is even less so. 

Mrs. T. — Well, sir, that bandeau you quarrelled 
with was worn by every woman at court the last 

1 Montagu House, Portman Square. This was the mansion of the pea- 
cock hangings celebrated by Cowper — 

The Birds put off their every hue 
To dress a room for Montagu. 


birthday, 1 and I observed that all the men found 
fault with it. 

Dr. J. — The truth is, women, take them in 
general, have no idea of grace. Fashion is all they 
think of. I don't mean Mrs. Thrale and Miss 
Burney, when I talk of women ! — they are god- 
desses ! — and therefore I except them. 

Mrs. T. — Lady Ladd never wore the bandeau, 
and said she never would, because it is unbecoming. 

Dr. J. (laughing). — Did not she ? then is 
Lady Ladd a charming woman, and I have yet 
hopes of entering into engagements with her I 

Mrs. T. — Well, as to that I can't say ; but to 
be sure, the only similitude I have yet discovered 
in you, is in size : there you agree mighty well. 

Dr. J. — Why, if anybody could have worn the 
bandeau, it must have been Lady Ladd ; for there 
is enough of her to carry it off; but you are too 
little for anything ridiculous ; that which seems 
nothing upon a Patagonian, will become very 
conspicuous upon a Lilliputian, and of you there 
is so little in all, that one single absurdity would 
swallow up half of you. 

Some time after, when we had all been a few 
minutes wholly silent, he turned to me and said, 

" Come, Burney, shall you and I study our parts 
against Mrs. Montagu comes ? " 

"Miss Burney," cried Mr. Thrale, "you must 
get up your courage for this encounter ! I think 
you should begin with Miss Gregory ; and down 
with her first." 

Dr. J. — No, no, always fly at the eagle ! down 
with Mrs. Montagu herself ! I hope she will come 
full of Evelina \ 

Wednesday. — At breakfast, Dr. Johnson asked 
me, if I had been reading his Life of Cowley ? 

1 " New clothes on the birthday were the fashion for all loyal people " 
(Thackeray's Four Georges, 1866, pp. 96, 97). 


" Oh yes," said I. 
1 " And what do you think of it ? " 

"I am delighted with it," cried I; "and if I 
was somebody, instead of nobody, I should not 
have read it without telling you sooner what I 
think of it. and unasked." 

Again, when I took up Cowley's JLife, he made 
me put it away to talk. I could not help remark- 
ing how very like Dr. Johnson is to his writing ; 
and how much the same thing it was to hear or to 
read him ; but that nobody could tell that without 
coming to Streatham, for his language was gener- 
ally imagined to be laboured and studied, instead 
of the mere common flow of his thoughts. 1 

"Very true," said Mrs. Thrale, "he writes and 
talks with the same ease, and in the same manner ; 
but, sir (to him), if this rogue is like her book, 
how will she trim all of us by and by ! Now, she 
dainties us up with all the meekness in the world ; 
but when we are away, I suppose she pays us off 

" My paying off," cried I, "is like the Latin of 

" . . . who never scanted, 
His learning unto such as wanted ; 2 

for I can figure like anything when I am with 
those who can't figure at all." 

Mrs. T. — Oh, if you have any mag z in you, 
we'll draw it out ! 

Dr. J. — A rogue ! she told me that if she was 
somebody instead of nobody, she would praise my 
book ! 

F. B. — Why, sir, I am sure you would scoff my 

1 This is a curious testimony to Johnson's later style. See also Mrs. 
Thrale's reply. 

2 Hudibras, Pt. I. Canto i. 11. 55-6 (not textual). 

3 Mag = chatter (Da vies, Supplemental Glossary). 


Dr. J. — If you think that, you think very ill of 
me ; but you don't think it. 

Mrs. T. — We have told her what you said to 
Miss More, and I believe that makes her afraid. 1 

Dr. J. — Well, and if she was to serve me as 
Miss More did, I should say the same thing to her. 
But I think she will not. Hannah More has very 
good intellects, too ; but she has by no means the 
elegance of Miss Burney. 

" Well," cried I, " there are folks that are to be 
spoilt, and folks that are not to be spoilt, as well 
in the world as in the nursery ; but what will 
become of me, I know not." 

Mrs. T. — Well, if you are spoilt, we can only say, 
nothing in the world is so pleasant as being spoilt. 

Dr. J. — No, no ; Burney will not be spoilt : she 
knows too well what praise she has a claim to, and 
what not, to be in any danger of spoiling. 

F. B. — I do, indeed, believe I shall never be 
spoilt at Streatham, for it is the last place where I 
can feel of any consequence. 

Mrs. T. — Well, sir, she is our Miss Burney, 
however ; we were the first to catch her, and now 
we have got, we will keep her. And so she is all 
our own. 

Dr. J. — Yes, I hope she is ; I should be very 
sorry to lose Miss Burney. 

F. B. — Oh, dear ! how can two such people sit 
and talk such 

Mrs. T. — Such stuff, you think ? but Dr. John- 
son's love 

Dr. J. — Love? no, I don't entirely love her 
yet ; I must see more of her first ; I have much 
too high an opinion of her to flatter her. I have, 
indeed, seen nothing of her but what is fit to be 
loved, but I must know her more. I admire her, 
and greatly too. 

1 See ante, p. 99. 


F. B. — Well, this is a very new style to me ! I 
have long enough had reason to think myself loved, 
but admiration is perfectly new to me. 

Dr. J. — I admire her for her observation, for 
her good sense, for her humour, for her discern- 
ment, for her manner of expressing them, and for 
all her writing talents. 

I quite sigh beneath the weight of such praise 
from such persons — sigh with mixed gratitude for 
the present, and fear for the future ; for I think I 
shall never, never be able to support myself long so 
well with them. 

We could not prevail with him to stay till 
Mrs. Montagu arrived, though, by appointment, she 
came very early. She and Miss Gregory came by 
one o'clock. 

There was no party to meet her. 

She is middle-sized, very thin, and looks infirm ; 
she has a sensible and penetrating countenance, 
and the air and manner of a woman accustomed 
to being distinguished, and of great parts. Dr. 
Johnson, who agrees in this, told us that a Mrs. 
Hervey, of his acquaintance, says, she can 
remember Mrs. Montagu trying for this same air 
and manner. Mr. Crisp has said the same : how- 
ever, nobody can now impartially see her, and not 
confess that she has extremely well succeeded. 

My expectations, which were compounded of 
the praise of Mrs. Thrale, and the abuse of Mr. 
Crisp, were most exactly answered, for I thought 
her in a medium way. 

Miss Gregory is a fine young woman, and seems 
gentle and well-bred. 

A bustle with the dog Presto — Mrs. Thrale's 
favourite — at the entrance of these ladies into the 
library, prevented any formal reception ; but as 
soon as Mrs. Montagu heard my name, she in- 


quired very civilly after my father, and made many 
speeches concerning a volume of Linguet? which 
she has lost ; but she hopes soon to be able to 
replace it. I am sure he is very high in her favour, 
because she did me the honour of addressing her- 
self to me three or four times. 

But my ease and tranquillity were soon dis- 
turbed : for she had not been in the room more 
than ten minutes, ere, turning to Mrs. Thrale, she 
said — 

" Oh, ma'am — but your Evelina — I have not yet 
got it — I sent for it, but the bookseller had it not. 
However, I will certainly have it." 

" Ay, I hope so," answered Mrs. Thrale, " and I 
hope you will like it too ; for 'tis a book to be 

I began now a vehement nose-blowing, for the 
benefit of handkerchiefmg my face. 

" I hope though," said Mrs. Montagu drily, " it 
is not in verse ? I can read anything in prose, but 
I have a great dread of a long story in verse." 

" No, ma'am, no ; 'tis all in prose, I assure you. 

'Tis a novel ; and an exceeding but it does 

nothing good to Be praised too much, so I will say 
nothing more about it ; only this, that Mr. Burke 
sat up all night to read it." 

" Indeed ? Well, I propose myself great plea- 
sure from it ; and I am gratified by hearing it is 
written by a woman." 

"And Sir Joshua Reynolds," continued Mrs. 
Thrale, " has been offering fifty pounds to know 
the author." 

" Well, I will have it to read on my journey ; 
I am going to Berkshire, and it shall be my travel- 
ling book." 

" No, ma'am, if you please you shall have it 

1 S. N. H. Linguet, 1736-94, was a political and miscellaneous writer 
(see post, p. 125). 


now. Queeny, do look for it for Mrs. Montagu, 
and let it be put in her carriage, and go to town 
with her." 

Miss Thrale rose to look for it, and involuntarily 
I rose too, intending to walk off, for my situation 
was inexpressibly awkward ; but then I recollected 
that if I went away, it might seem like giving Mrs. 
Thrale leave and opportunity to tell my tale, and 
therefore I stopped at a distant window, where I 
busied myself in contemplating the poultry. 

"And Dr. Johnson, ma'am," added my kind 
puffer, " says Fielding never wrote so well — never 
wrote equal to this book ; he says it is a better 
picture of life and manners than is to be found 
anywhere in Fielding." 

" Indeed ? " cried Mrs. Montagu surprised ; " that 
I did not expect, for I have been informed it is the 
work of a young lady, and therefore, though I 
expected a very pretty book, I supposed it to be a 
work of mere imagination, and the name I thought 
attractive ; but life and manners I never dreamt of 

" Well, ma am, what I tell you is literally true ; 
and for my part, I am never better pleased than 
when good girls write clever books — and that this 
is clever — But all this time we are killing Miss 
Burney, who wrote the book herself." 

What a clap of thunder was this ! — the last thing 
in the world I should have expected before my 
face ! I know not what bewitched Mrs. Thrale, 
but this was carrying the jest farther than ever. 
All retenue being now at an end, I fairly and 
abruptly took to my heels, and ran out of the room 
with the utmost trepidation, amidst astonished 
exclamations from Mrs. Montagu and Miss Gregory. 

I was horribly disconcerted, but I am now so 
irrecoverably in for it, that I begin to leave off 
reproaches and expostulations ; indeed, they have 


very little availed me while they might have been 
of service, but now they would pass for mere parade 
and affectation ; and therefore since they can do no 
good, I gulp them down. I find them, indeed, 
somewhat hard of digestion, but they must make 
their own way as well as they can. 

I determined not to make my appearance again 
till dinner was upon table ; yet I could neither read 
nor write, nor indeed do anything but consider the 
new situation in life into which I am thus hurried 
— I had almost said forced — and if I had, methinks 
it would be no untruth. 

Miss Thrale came laughing up after me, and 
tried to persuade me to return. She was mightily 
diverted all the morning, and came to me with 
repeated messages of summons to attend the com- 
pany ; but I could not brave it again into the room, 
and therefore entreated her to say I was finishing a 
letter. Yet I was sorry to lose so much of Mrs. 

When dinner was upon table, I followed the 
procession, in a tragedy step, as Mr. Thrale will 
have it, into the dining-parlour. Dr. Johnson was 

The conversation was not brilliant, nor do I 
remember much of it ; but Mrs. Montagu behaved 
to me just as I could have wished, since she spoke 
to me very little, but spoke that little with the 
utmost politeness. But Miss Gregory, though 
herself a very modest girl, quite stared me out of 
countenance, and never took her eyes off my face. 

When Mrs. Montagu's new house l was talked 
of, Dr. Johnson, in a jocose manner, desired to 
know if he should be invited to see it. 

"Ay, sure," cried Mrs. Montagu, looking well 
pleased ; " or else I shan't like it : but I invite you 
all to a house warming ; I shall hope for the honour 

1 See ante, p. 116. 


of seeing all this company at my new house next 
Easter day : I fix the day now that it may be 

Everybody bowed and accepted the invite but 
me, and I thought fitting not to hear it ; for I have 
no notion at snapping at invites from the eminent. 
But Dr. Johnson, who sat next to me, was deter- 
mined I should be of the party, for he suddenly 
clapped his hand on my shoulder, and called out 
aloud — 

" Little Burney, you and I will go together ! " 

" Yes, surely," cried Mrs. Montagu, " I shall 
hope for the pleasure of seeing ' Evelina.' ' 

" Evelina ? " repeated he ; " has Mrs. Montagu 
then found out Evelina ? " 

" Yes," cried she, " and I am proud of it : I am 
proud that a work so commended should be a 

Oh, how my face burnt ! 

" Has Mrs. Montagu," asked Dr. Johnson, " read 
Evelina ? " 

" No, sir, not yet ; but I shall immediately, for 
I feel the greatest eagerness to read it." 

" I am very sorry, madam," replied he, " that 
you have not read it already, because you cannot 
speak of it with a full conviction of its merit : 
which, I believe, when you have read it, you will 
find great pleasure in acknowledging." 

Some other things were said, but I remember 
them not, for I could hardly keep my place : but 
my sweet, naughty Mrs. Thrale looked delighted 
for me. 

I made tea as usual, and Mrs. Montagu and 
Miss Gregory seated themselves on each side of 

"I can see," said the former, "that Miss 
Burney is very like her father, and that is a good 
thing, for everybody would wish to be like Dr. 


Burney. Pray, when you see him, give my best 
respects to him ; I am afraid he thinks me a 
thief with his Linguet ; 1 but I assure you I am 
a very honest woman, and I spent full three hours 
in looking for it." 

" I am sure," cried Mrs. Thrale, " Dr. Burney 
would much rather you should have employed that 
time about some other book." 

They went away very early, because Mrs. 
Montagu is a great coward in a carriage. She 
repeated her invitation as she left the room. So 
now that I am invited to Mrs. Montagu's, I think 
the measure of my glory full ! 

When they were gone, how did Dr. Johnson 
astonish me by asking if I had observed what 
an ugly cap Miss Gregory had on ? And then 
taking both my hands, and looking at me with an 
expression of much kindness, he said, 

"Well, Miss Burney, Mrs. Montagu now will 
read Evelina." 

To read it he seems to think is all that is 
wanted, and, far as I am from being of the same 
opinion, I dare not to him make disqualifying 
speeches, because it might seem impertinent to 
suppose her more difficult to please than himself. 

" You were very kind, sir," cried I, " to speak 
of it with so much favour and indulgence at 
dinner ; yet I hardly knew how to sit it then, 
though I shall be always proud to remember it 

" Why, it is true," said he, kindly, " that such 
things are disagreeable to sit, nor do I wonder 
you were distressed ; yet sometimes they are 

Was this not very kind ? I am sure he meant 
that the sanction of his good opinion, so publicly 
given to Mrs. Montagu, would in a manner stamp 

1 See ante, p. 121. 


the success of my book ; and though, had I been 
allowed to preserve the snugness I had planned, I 
need not have concerned myself at all about its 
fate, yet now that I find myself exposed with it, I 
cannot but wish it insured from disgrace. 

"Well, sir," cried I, "I don't think I shall 
mind Mrs. Montagu herself now ; after what you 
have said, I believe I should not mind even abuse 
from any one." 

" No, no, never mind them ! " cried he ; " re- 
solve not to mind them : they can do you no 
serious hurt." 

Mrs. Thrale then told me such civil things. 
Mrs. Montagu, it seems, during my retreat, 
inquired very particularly what kind of book it 
was ? 

" And I told her," continued Mrs. Thrale, " that 
it was a picture of life, manners, and characters. 
6 But won't she go on ? ' says she ; ' surely she 
won't stop here ? ' 

" ' Why,' said I, ' I want her to go on in a new 
path — I want her to write a comedy.' 

" ' But,' said Mrs. Montagu, ' one thing must 
be considered ; Fielding, who was so admirable in 
novel-writing, never succeeded when he wrote for 
the stage.' " 

" Very well said," cried Dr. Johnson ; " that 
was an answer which showed she considered her 

Mrs. Thrale continued : 

" ' Well, but a proposj said Mrs. Montagu, ' if 
Miss Burney does write a play, I beg I may know 
of it ; or, if she thinks proper, see it ; and all my 
influence is at her service. We shall all be glad to 
assist in spreading the fame of Miss Burney.' ' 

I tremble for what all this will end in. I 
verily think I had best stop where I am, and 
never again attempt writing : for after so much 


honour, so much success — how shall I bear a 
downfall ? 

Mrs. T. — Oh, a propos ; now you have a new 
edition 1 coming out, why should you not put your 
name to it ? 

F. B. — Oh, ma'am — I would not for the world ! 

Mrs. T. — And why not ? come, let us have done 
now with all this diddle-daddle. 

F. B. — No, indeed, ma'am ; so long as I live I 
never can consent to that. 

Mrs. T. — Well, but seriously, Miss Burney, 
why should you not ? I advise it with all my 
heart, and I'll tell you why ; you want hardening, 
and how can you get it better than by putting 
your name to this book (to begin with), which 
everybody likes, and against which I have heard 
nobody offer any objection ? You can never write 
what will please more universally. 

F. B. — But why, ma'am, should I be hardened ? 

Mrs. T. — To enable you to bear a little abuse 
by and by. 

F. B. — Oh, Heaven forbid I should be tried in 
that way ! 

Mrs. T. — Oh, you must not talk so ; I hope to 
live to see you trimmed very handsomely. 

F. B. — Heaven forbid ! I am sure I should 
hang or drown myself in such a case ! 

Mrs. T. — You grieve me to hear you talk so ; 
is not everybody abused that meets with success ? 
You must prepare yourself not to mind a few 
squibs. How is Dr. Johnson abused ! and who 
thinks the worse of him ? 

This comparison made me grin, and so our 
discourse ended. But pray Heaven may spare me 
the horror irrecoverable of personal abuse ! Let 

1 This was premature, for the second edition is dated 1779. Mrs. 
Chappel, of East Orchard, Shaftesbury, has a copy of this edition, 
presented by the author to Dr. Burney: — "From his dutiful scribler.'* 
His name is also filled up in the heading of the dedicatory verses. 


them criticise, cut, slash, without mercy my book, 
and let them neglect me ; but may God avert my 
becoming a public theme of ridicule ! In such a 
case, how should I wish Evelina had followed her 
humble predecessors to the all-devouring flames, 
which, in consuming her, would have preserved her 
creatress ! 

Monday, September 21. — I am more comfort- 
able here than ever ; Dr. Johnson honours me with 
increasing kindness ; Mr. Thrale is much more easy 
and sociable than when I was here before ; I am 
quite jocose, whenever I please, with Miss Thrale ; 
and the charming head and life of the house, her 
mother, stands the test of the closest examination, 
as well and as much to her honour as she does a 
mere cursory view. She is, indeed, all that is 
excellent and desirable in woman. 

I have had a thousand delightful conversations 
with Dr. Johnson, who, whether he loves me or 
not, I am sure seems to have some opinion of my 
discretion, for he speaks of all this house to me 
with unbounded confidence, neither diminishing 
faults, nor exaggerating praise. Whenever he is 
below stairs he keeps me a prisoner, for he does 
not like I should quit the room a moment ; if I 
rise he constantly calls out, " Don't you go, little 
Burney ! " 

Last night, when we were talking of compli- 
ments and of gross speeches, Mrs. Thrale most 
justly said that nobody could make either like 
Dr. Johnson. "Your compliments, sir, are made 
seldom, but when they are made they have an 
elegance unequalled ; but then when you are 
angry, who dares make speeches so bitter and so 
cruel ? " 

Dr. J. — Madam, I am always sorry when I make 
bitter speeches, and I never do it but when I am 
insufferably vexed. 


Mrs. T. — Yes, sir ; but you suffer things to vex 
you, that nobody else would vex at. I am sure I 
have had my share of scolding from you ! 

Dr. J. — It is true, you have ; but you have 
borne it like an angel, and you have been the 
better for it. 

Mrs. T. — That I believe, sir : for I have received 
more instruction from you than from any man, or 
any book : and the vanity that you should think 
me worth instructing, always overcame the vanity 
of being found fault with. And so you had the 
scolding, and I the improvement. 

F. B. — And I am sure both make for the honour 
of both. 

Dr. J. — I think so too. But Mrs. Thrale is a 
sweet creature, and never angry ; she has a temper 
the most delightful of any woman I ever knew. 

Mrs. T. — This I can tell you, sir, and without 
any flattery — I not only bear your reproofs when 
present, but in almost everything I do in your 
absence, I ask myself whether you would like it, 
and what you would say to it. Yet I believe there 
is nobody you dispute with oftener than me. 

F. B. — But you two are so well established with 
one another, that you can bear a rebuff that would 
kill a stranger. 

Dr. J. — Yes ; but we disputed the same before 
we were so well established with one another. 

Mrs. T. — Oh, sometimes I think 1 shall die no 
other death than hearing the bitter things he says 
to others. What he says to myself I can bear, 
because I know how sincerely he is my friend, and 
that he means to mend me ; but to others it is 

Dr. J. — Why, madam, you often provoke me to 
say severe things, by unreasonable commendation. 
If you would not call for my praise, I would not 
give you my censure ; but it constantly moves my 



indignation to be applied to, to speak well of a 
thing which I think contemptible. 

F. B. — Well, this I know, whoever I may hear 
complain of Dr. Johnson's severity, I shall always 
vouch for his kindness, as far as regards myself, and 
his indulgence. 

Mrs. T. — Ay, but I hope he will trim you yet, 

Dr. J. — I hope not : I should be very sorry 
to say anything that should vex my dear little 

F. B. — If you did, sir, it would vex me more 
than you can imagine. I should sink in a minute. 

Mrs. T. — I remember, sir, when we were travel- 
ling in Wales, how you called me to account for 
my civility to the people ; " Madam," you said, "let 
me have no more of this idle commendation of 
nothing. Why is it, that whatever you see, and 
whoever you see, you are to be so indiscriminately 
lavish of praise ? " " Why I'll tell you, sir," said I, 
" when I am with you, and Mr. Thrale, and Queeny, 
I am obliged to be civil for four ! " 

There was a cutter for you ! But this I must 
say, for the honour of both — Mrs. Thrale speaks to 
Dr. Johnson with as much sincerity (though with 
greater softness), as he does to her. 

Well, now I have given so many fine compli- 
ments from Dr. Johnson and Mrs Thrale, suppose, 
by way of contrast and variety, I give a few of 
Rose Fuller's. He called here on Saturday morn- 
ing, with his little dog Sharp, who is his constant 
companion. When the common salutations were 
over, and everybody had said something to him 
and his dog, he applied to me. 

" Well, Miss Burney, and how do you do ? 
Pray how do you like my little dog ? His name 
is Sharp." 

F. B.— Oh, very well ! 


Mr. Fuller. — I am very glad to hear it ; I shall 
pique myself upon Miss Burney's opinion, and 
"that sort of thing"; I assure you I am quite 
proud of it. I have got an Evelina of my own 
now, Mrs. Thrale ; we shall break the bookseller, 
for Dr. Calvert sent for it too. I am now in the 
middle of the second volume : upon my word, Miss 
Burney, "in that sort of way," 'tis amazing how 
you've hit off characters ! Upon my word, I never 
read anything higher ! I declare I never laughed 
so in my life. And, give me leave to say, for " that 
sort of thing," I think that Captain a very ingenious 
sort of man ; upon my word he is quite smart in 
some of his replies ; but he is too hard upon the 
old Frenchwoman, too. 1 

[In the evening he came to tea, with Mr. 
Stephen Fuller, his uncle, a sensible and gentle- 
manlike-looking man, but who is dreadfully deaf. 
Rose Fuller sat by me, and began again upon 
Evelina ; indeed, now the ice is broken, I believe 
he will talk of nothing else. 

" Well, Miss Burney, I must tell you all the 
secrets, now, in that sort of way. I put the first 
volume into Mr. Stephen Fuller's hands ; but I did 
not tell him, — don't be alarmed, I kept counsel ; 
but upon my word, you never saw a man laugh so. 
I could hardly get him to come, in that sort of 
way ; he says he never saw characters so well hit 
off, — true ! upon my word ! I was obliged to take 
the book from him, " and that sort of thing," or 
we should have been too late for dinner. But, 
upon my word, 'tis amazing, everybody says, in 
that sort of way.] 

Streatham, September 26. — 1 have, from want 
of time, neglected my journal so long, that I 

1 This shows that even landsmen thought Captain Mirvan over- 


cannot now pretend to go on methodically, and be 
particular as to dates. 

Messrs. Stephen and Rose Fuller stayed very 
late on Monday ; the former talking very rationally 
upon various subjects, and the latter boring us with 
his systems and "those sort of things." Yet he is 
something of a favourite, " in that sort of way," at 
this house, because of his invincible good humour, 
and Mrs. Thrale says she would not change him as 
a neighbour for a much wiser man. Dr. Johnson 
says he would make a very good Mr. Smith : "Let 
him but," he adds, "pass a month or two in Holborn, 
and I would desire no better." 

The other evening the conversation fell upon 
Romney, 1 the painter, who has lately got into 
great business, and who was first recommended 
and patronised by Mr. Cumberland. 

" See, madam," said Dr. Johnson, laughing, 
"what it is to have the favour of a literary man ! 
I think I have had no hero a great while ; Dr. 
Goldsmith was my last ; but I have had none 
since his time till my little Burney came ! " 

"Ay, sir," said Mrs. Thrale, "Miss Burney is 
the heroine now ; is it not really true, sir ? " 

" To be sure it is, my dear ! " answered he, with 
a gravity that made not only me, but Mr. Thrale 
laugh heartily. 

Another time, Mr. Thrale said he had seen Dr. 
Jebb, " and he told me he was afraid Miss Burney 
would have gone into a consumption," said he ; 
"but I informed him how well you are, and he 
committed you to my care ; so I shall insist now 
upon being sole judge of what wine you drink." 

1 George Romney, 1734-1802, the "man in Cavendish Square," as 
Reynolds called him. He had settled at No. 32 in 1775, and was now in 
full practice and reputation. When, earlier, he had painted Cumber- 
land's portrait, he was poorly housed in Great Newport Street. " I sate 
to him," says Cumberland, " and was the first, who encouraged him to 
advance his terms, by paying him ten guineas for his performance " 
(Memoirs, 1807, ii. 213). 


(N.B. — He had often disputed this point.) 

Dr. J. — Why, did Dr. Jebb forbid her wine ? 

F. B.— Yes, sir. 

Dr. J. — Well, he was in the right ; he knows 
how apt wits are to transgress that way. He was 
certainly right ! 

In this sort of ridiculous manner he wits me 
eternally. But the present chief sport with Mrs. 
Thrale is disposing of me in the holy state of 
matrimony, and she offers me whoever comes to 
the house. This was begun by Mrs. Montagu, 
who, it seems, proposed a match for me in my 
absence, with Sir Joshua Reynolds ! — no less a 
man, I assure you ! 1 

When I was dressing for dinner, Mrs. Thrale 
told me that Mr. Crutchley 2 was expected. 

" Who's he ? " quoth I. 

" A young man of very large fortune, who was a 
ward of Mr. Thrale. Queeny, what do you say of 
him for Miss Burney ? " 

" Him ? " cried she ; " no, indeed ; what has Miss 
Burney done to have him ? " 

"Nay, believe me, a man of his fortune may 
offer himself anywhere. However, I won't recom- 
mend him." 

" Why then, ma'am," cried I, with dignity, " I 
reject him ! v 

This Mr. Crutchley stayed till after breakfast 
the next morning. I can't tell you anything of 
him, because I neither like nor dislike him. 

Mr. Crutchley was scarce gone, ere Mr. Smith 
arrived. Mr. Smith is a second cousin of Mr. 
Thr&le, and a modest pretty sort of young man. 

He stayed till Friday morning. When he was 

1 See post, under December 28, 1782. 

2 Mr. Jerry Crutchley was supposed to be Thrale's natural son 
{Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Piozzi, 1861, i. 144, 155). 


" What say you to him, Miss Burney ? " cried 
Mrs. Thrale — " I am sure I offer you variety." 

"Why, I like him better than Mr. Crutchley, 
but I don't think I shall pine for either of them." 

"Dr. Johnson," said Mrs. Thrale, "don't you 
think Jerry Crutchley very much improved ? " 

Dr. J. — Yes, madam, I think he is. 

Mrs. T— Shall he have Miss Burney ? 

Dr. J. — Why, I think not ; at least I must 
know more of him ; I must inquire into his con- 
nections, his recreations, his employments, and his 
character, from his intimates, before I trust Miss 
Burney with him. And he must come down very 
handsomely with a settlement. I will not have him 
left to his generosity ; for as he will marry her for 
her wit, and she him for his fortune, he ought to 
bid well ; and let him come down with what he 
will, his price will never be equal to her worth. 

Mrs. T. — She says she likes Mr. Smith better. 

Dr. J. — Yes, but I won't have her like Mr. 
Smith without the money, better than Mr. 
Crutchley with it. Besides, if she has Crutchley, 
he will use her well, to vindicate his choice. The 
world, madam, has a reasonable claim upon all 
mankind to account for their conduct ; therefore, if 
with his great wealth he marries a woman who has 
but little, he will be more attentive to display her 
merit than if she was equally rich, — in order to 
show that the woman he has chosen deserves from 
the world all the respect and admiration it can 
bestow, or that else she would not have been his 

Mrs. T. — I believe young Smith is the better 

F. B. — Well, I won't be rash in thinking of 
either ; I will take some time for consideration 
before I fix. 

Dr. J. — Why, I don't hold it to be delicate to 


offer marriages to ladies, even in jest, nor do I 
approve such sort of jocularity ; yet for once I 
must break through the rules of decorum, and pro- 
pose a match myself for Miss Burney. I therefore 
nominate Sir J L . x 

Mrs. T. — I'll give you my word, sir, you are not 
the first to say that, for my master, the other 
morning, when we were alone, said, " What would 

I give that Sir J ■ L was married to Miss 

Burney ; it might restore him to our family." So 
spoke his uncle and guardian. 

F. B.— He, he ! Ha, ha ! He, he ! Ha, ha ! 

Dr. J. — That was elegantly said of my master, 
and nobly said, and not in the vulgar way we have 
been saying it. And where, madam, will you find 
another man in trade who will make such a speech 
— who will be capable of making such a speech ? 
Well, I am glad my master takes so to Miss 
Burney ; I would have everybody take to Miss 
Burney, so as they allow me to take to her most ! 

Yet I don t know whether Sir J L should 

have her, neither. I should be afraid for her ; I 
don't think I would hand her to him. 

F. B. — Why, now, what a fine match is here 
broken off! 

Some time after, when we were in the library, 
he asked me very gravely if I loved reading ? 

" Yes," quoth I. 

"Why do you doubt it, sir ?" cried Mrs. Thrale. 

" Because," answered he, " I never see her with 
a book in her hand. I have taken notice that she 
never has been reading whenever I have come into 
the room." 

" Sir," quoth I courageously, " I am always 
afraid of being caught reading, lest I should pass 
for being studious or affected, and therefore instead 
of making a display of books, I always try to hide 

1 Sir John Lade, see ante, p. 72. 


them, as is the case at this very time, for I have 
now your Life of Waller under my gloves behind 
me. However, since I am piqued to it, I'll boldly 
produce my voucher." 

And so saying, I put the book on the table, and 
opened it with a flourishing air. And then the 
laugh was on my side, for he could not help making 
a droll face ; and if he had known Kitty Cooke, I 
would have called out, "There I had you, my lad!" 1 

" And now," quoth Mrs. Thrale, " you must be 
more careful than ever of not being thought 
bookish, for now you are known for a wit and a bel 
esprit, you will be watched, and if you are not upon 
your guard, all the misses will rise up against you." 

Dr. J. — Nay, nay, now it is too late. You may 
read as much as you will now, for you are in for it, 
— you are dipped over head and ears in the 
Castalian stream, and so I hope you will be invul- 

Another time, when we were talking of the 
licentiousness of the newspapers, Dr. Johnson said, 

" I wonder they have never yet had a touch at 
little Burney." 

" Oh, Heaven forbid ! " cried I : "I am sure if 
they did, I believe I should try the depth of Mr. 
Thrale's spring-pond." 2 

" No, no, my dear, no," cried he kindly, " you 
must resolve not to mind them ; you must set 
yourself against them, and not let any such 
nonsense affect you." 

"There is nobody," said Mrs. Thrale, "tempers 
the satirist with so much meekness as Miss 

Satirist, indeed ! is it not a satire upon words, to 
call me so ? 

1 See Editor's Introduction, p. 11. 

J The spring-pond had been dug by Thrale at Streatham Place. In 
imitation, probably of Duck Island in St. James's Park, it had its "Dick's 


" I hope to Heaven I shall never be tried," 
cried I, "for I am sure I should never bear it. Of 
my book they may say what they will and welcome, 
but if they touch at me I shall be " 

"Nay," said Mrs. Thrale, "if you are not afraid 
for the book, I am sure they can say no harm of 
the author." 

"Never let them know," said Dr. Johnson, 
" which way you shall most mind them, and then 
they will stick to the book ; but you must never 
acknowledge how tender you are for the author." 

Mr. Cuisp to Miss F. Buhney 

November 6, 1778. 

My dear Fannikin — Since peace is proclaimed, 
and I am got out of my hobble, I am content, and 
shall never lose a thought more in considering how 
I got into it. My object now is to reap the fruits 
of the accommodation ; of which the principal article 
is to be, an open trade and renewal of commerce 
and confidence, together with a strict observance of 
former treaties, by which no new alliances are to be 
formed to the prejudice of the old family compact. 
These preliminaries being acceded to, nothing now 
remains but to sing Te Z)eu??i 9 and play off the 

I do entirely acquit you of all wish or design of 
being known to the world as an author. I believe 
it is ever the case with writers of real merit and 
genius, on the appearance of their first productions : 
as their powers are finer and keener than other 
people's, so is their sensibility. On these occasions 
they are as nervous as Lady Louisa in Evelina, 
But surely these painful feelings ought to go off 
when the salts of general applause are continually 
held under their nose. It is then time to follow 


your friend Dr. Johnson's advice, and learn to be a 
swaggerer, at least so far as to be able to face the 
world, and not be ashamed of the distinction you 
have fairly earned, especially when it is apparent 
you do not court it. 

I now proceed to assume the daddy, and con- 
sequently the privilege of giving counsel. Your 
kind and judicious friends are certainly in the 
right in wishing you to make your talents turn to 
something more solid than empty praise. When 
you come to know the world half so well as I do, 
and what yahoos mankind are, you will then be 
convinced that a state of independence is the only 
basis on which to rest your future ease and comfort. 
You are now young, lively, gay. You please, and 
the world smiles upon you — this is your time. 
Years and wrinkles in their due season (perhaps 
attended with want of health and spirits) will 
succeed. You will then be no longer the same 
Fanny of 1778, feasted, caressed, admired, with 
all the soothing circumstances of your present 
situation. The Thrales, the Johnsons, the Sewards, 
Cholmondeleys, etc., etc., who are now so high in 
fashion, and might be such powerful protectors as 
almost to insure success to anything that is toler- 
able, may then themselves be moved off the stage. 
I will no longer dwell on so disagreeable a change 
of the scene ; let me only earnestly urge you to 
act vigorously (what I really believe is in your 
power) a distinguished part in the present one — 
"now while it is yet day, and before the night 
cometh, when no man can work." 

I must again and again repeat my former 
admonitions regarding your posture in reading and 
writing ; it is of infinite consequence, especially 
to such lungs, and such a frame as yours. 1 

1 "Daddy" Crisp had already warned her against her "murtherous 
stooping" {Early Diary, 1889, i. bcxxiii.). 


Lastly, if you do resolve to undertake anything 
of the nature your friends recommend, keep it (if 
possible) an impenetrable secret that you are even 
about such a work. Let it be all your own till it 
is finished entirely in your own way ; it will be 
time enough then to consult such friends as you 
think capable of judging and advising. If you 
suffer any one to interfere till then, 'tis ten to one 
'tis the worse for it — it won't be all of a piece. In 
these cases generally the more cooks the worse 
broth, and I have more than once observed those 
pieces that have stole privately into the world, 
without midwives, or godfathers and godmothers, 
like your own, and the Tale of a Tub, and a few 
others, have far exceeded any that followed. 

Your loving daddy, 
S. C. 

Diary resumed 

Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Thrale took me 
quite round the paddock, and showed me their hot- 
houses, kitchen-gardens, etc. Their size and their 
contents are astonishing : but we have not once 
missed a pineapple since I came, and therefore 
you may imagine their abundance ; besides grapes, 
melons, peaches, nectarines, and ices. 

[Sunday we went to Streatham Church, and 

afterwards to visit the family of the P s, 1 who 

now live in B House, which is about half a 

mile off. The papa I did not see ; the mamma 
is a civil, simple woman, and the daughters are 
pretty, well-dressed, trifling, and furiously extra- 

While Mrs. Thrale and I were dressing, and, as 
usual, confabbing, a chaise drove into the park, 
and word was brought that Mr. Seward was 

1 Query, Pitches. 


"You don't know much of Mr. Seward, Miss 
Burney ? " said Mrs. Thrale. 

I could have told her I wished he had not 
known much of me ; but her maid was in my way, 
and I only said, " No." 

" But I hope you will know more of him," said 
she, "for I want you to take to him. He is a 
charming young man, though not without oddities. 
Few people do him justice, because, as Dr. John- 
son calls him, he is an abrupt young man ; but he 
has excellent qualities, and an excellent under- 
standing. He has the misfortune to be an hypo- 
chondriac, so he runs about the world to borrow 
spirits, and to forget himself. But after all, if his 
disorders are merely imaginary, the imagination is 
disorder sufficient, and therefore I am sorry for 

The day passed very agreeably, but I have no 
time for particulars. I fight very shy with Mr. 
Seward, and as he has a great share of sense and 
penetration, and not a little one of pride and 
reserve, he takes the hint ; and I believe he would 
as soon bite off his own nose as mention Evelina 
again. And, indeed, now that the propriety of his 
after-conduct has softened me in his favour, I begin 
to think of him much in the same way Mrs. Thrale 
does, for he is very sensible, very intelligent, and 
very well bred. 

Monday was the day for our great party ; and 
the doctor came home, at Mrs. Thrale's request, to 
meet them. 

The party consisted of Mr. C , who was 

formerly a timber-merchant, but having amassed 
a fortune of one million of pounds, he has left off 
business. He is a good-natured, busy sort of man. 

Mrs. C , his lady, a sort of Mrs. Nobody. 

Mr. N , another rich business leaver-off. 

Mrs. N , his lady ; a pretty sort of woman, 


who was formerly a pupil of Dr. Hawkesworth. 1 
I had a great deal of talk with her about him, 
and about my favourite Miss Kinnaird, 2 whom she 
knew very well. 

Mr. George and Mr. Thomas N , her sons- 

Mr. B, , of whom I know nothing but that 

he married into Mr. Thrale's family. 

Lady Ladd ; I ought to have begun with her. 
I beg her ladyship a thousand pardons — though if 
she knew my offence, I am sure I should not 
obtain one. She is own sister to Mr. Thrale. 
She is a tall and stout woman, has an air of 
mingled dignity and haughtiness, both of which 
wear off in conversation. She dresses very 
youthful and gaily, and attends to her person 
with no little complacency. She appears to me 
uncultivated in knowledge, though an adept in the 
manners of the world, and all that. She chooses 
to be much more lively than her brother ; but 
liveliness sits as awkwardly upon her as her pink 
ribbons. In talking her over with Mrs. Thrale, 
who has a very proper regard for her, but who, I 
am sure, cannot be blind to her faults, she gave 
me another proof to those I have already had, of 
the uncontrolled freedom of speech which Dr. 
Johnson exercises to everybody, and which every- 
body receives quietly from him. Lady Ladd has 
been very handsome, but is now, I think, quite 
ugly — at least she has a sort of face I like not. 
Well, she was a little while ago dressed in so 
showy a manner as to attract the doctor's notice, 
and when he had looked at her some time, he 
broke out aloud into this quotation : 

1 John Hawkesworth, 1715-73, of the Adventurer and Cook's Voyages. 
He is mentioned in Early Diary, 1889, i. 262-64, as a visitor at St. Martin's 

2 Miss Margaret Kinnaird, d. 1800, daughter of the sixth Baron 
Kinnaird, and married in 1779 to Mr. Thomas Wiggins. 


With patches, paint, and jewels on, 
Sure Phillis is not twenty-one ! 
Eut if at night you Phillis see, 
The dame at least is forty-three ! 

I don't recollect the verses exactly, but such was 
their purport. 

" However," said Mrs. Thrale, " Lady Ladd 
took it very good-naturedly, and only said, 

" ' I know enough of that forty -three — I don't 
desire to hear any more of it ! ' " 

Miss Moss, a pretty girl, who played and sung, 
to the great fatigue of Mrs. Thrale ; Mr. Rose 
Fuller, Sir. Embry, Mr. Seward, Dr. Johnson, the 
I three Thrales, and myself, close the party. 

We had a sumptuous dinner of three courses, 
and a most superb dessert. I shall give no account 
of the day, because our common days are so much 
more worth recounting. 

[I had the honour of making tea for all this set, 
and upon my word I was pretty well tired of it. 
But since the first two days I have always made 
tea, and now I am also the breakfast woman. I 
am by no means fond of the task, but I am very 
glad to do anything that is any sort of relief to 
Mrs. T.] 

In the evening the company divided pretty much 
into parties, and almost everybody walked upon 
the gravel- walk before the windows. I was going 
to have joined some of them, when Dr. Johnson 
stopped me, and asked how I did. 

" I was afraid, sir," cried I, " you did not intend 
to know me again, for you have not spoken to me 
before since your return from town." 

" My dear," cried he, taking both my hands, 
" I was not sure of you, I am so near-sighted, and 
I apprehended making some mistake." 

Then drawing me very unexpectedly towards 
him, he actually kissed me ! 


To be sure, I was a little surprised, having no 
idea of such facetiousness from him. However, I 
was glad nobody was in the room but Mrs. Thrale, 
who stood close to us, and Mr. Embry, who was 
lounging on a sofa at the farthest end of the room. 
Mrs. Thrale laughed heartily, and said she hoped 
I was contented with his amends for not knowing 
me sooner. 

A little after she said she would go and walk 
with the rest, if she did not fear for my reputation 
in being left with the doctor. 

" However, as Mr. Embry is yonder, I think 
he'll take some care of you," she added. 

" Ay, madam," said the doctor, " we shall do 
very well ; but I assure you I shan't part with 
Miss Burney ! " 

And he held me by both hands ; and when Mrs. 
Thrale went, he drew me a chair himself facing the 
window, close to his own ; and thus tete-a-tete we 
continued almost all the evening. I say tete-a-tete, 
because Mr. Embry kept at an humble distance, 
and offered us no interruption. And though Mr. 
Seward soon after came in, he also seated himself 
in a distant corner, not presuming, he said, to break 
in upon us ! Everybody, he added, gave way to 
the doctor. 

Our conversation chiefly was upon the Hebrides, 
for he always talks to me of Scotland, out of sport ; 
and he wished I had been of that tour — quite 
gravely, I assure you ! 

Tuesday morning our breakfast was delightful. 
We had Mr. Seward, Mr. Embry, and Lady Ladd 
added to our usual party, and Dr. Johnson was 
quite in a sportive humour. But I can only write 
some few speeches, wanting time to be prolix, not 

"Sir," said Mrs. Thrale to Dr. Johnson, "why 


did you not sooner leave your wine yesterday, and 
come to us ? we had a Miss who sung and played 
like anything ! " 

" Ay, had you ? " said he drolly ; " and why did 
you not call me to the rapturous entertainment ? " 

" Why, I was afraid you would not have praised 
her, for I sat thinking all the time myself whether 
it were better to sing and play as she sang and 
played, or to do nothing. And at first I thought 
she had the best of it, for we were but stupid before 
she began ; but afterwards she made it so long, that 
I thought nothing had all the advantage. But, sir, 
Lady Ladd has had the same misfortune you had, 
for she has fallen down and hurt herself woefully." 

" How did that happen, madam ? " 

" Why, sir, the heel of her shoe caught in some- 

" Heel ?" replied he; " nay, then, if her ladyship, 
who walks six foot high " (N.B. this is a fact), 
"will wear a high heel, I think she almost deserves 
a fall." 

" Nay, sir, my heel was not so high ! " cried 
Lady Ladd. 

" But, madam, why should you wear any ? That 
for which there is no occasion, had always better 
be dispensed with. However, a fall to your lady- 
ship is nothing," continued he, laughing ; "you, 
who are light and little, can soon recover ; but I 
who am a gross man, might suffer severely : with 
your ladyship the case is different, for 

" Airy substance soon unites again." 1 

Poor Lady Ladd, who is quite a strapper, made 
no answer, but she was not offended. Mrs. Thrale 
and I afterwards settled, that not knowing his allu- 
sion from the Rape of the Lock, she only thought 

1 Rape of the Lock, Canto iii. 152. 


he had made a stupid sort of speech, and did not 
trouble herself to find a meaning to it. 

" However," continued he, " if my fall does 
confine me, I will make my confinement pleasant, 
for Miss Burney shall nurse me — positively ! " (and 
he slapped his hand on the table), " and then, she 
shall sing to me, and soothe my cares." 

When public news was started, Mr. Thrale 
desired the subject might be waived till my father 
came, and could let us know what part of the late 
accounts were true. 

Mr. Thrale then offered to carry Mr. Seward, 
who was obliged to go to town, in the coach with 
him, — and Mr. Embry also left us. But Dr. 
Johnson sat with Mrs. Thrale, Lady Ladd, and 
me for an hour or two. 

The subject was given by Lady Ladd ; it was 
the respect due from the lower class of the people. 

" I know my place," said she, " and I always 
take it : and I've no notion of not taking it. But 
Mrs. Thrale lets all sort of people do just as they've 
a mind by her." 

" Ay," said Mrs. Thrale, " why should I torment 
and worry myself about all the paltry marks of 
respect that consist in bows and courtesies ? — I 
have no idea of troubling myself about the manners 
of all the people I mix with." 

"No," said Lady Ladd, "so they will take all 
sort of liberties with you. I remember, when you 
were at my house, how the hair-dresser flung down 
the comb as soon as you were dressed, and went 
out of the room without making a bow." 

" Well, all the better," said Mrs. Thrale ; " for 
if he had made me one, ten thousand to one if I 
had seen it. I was in as great haste to have done 
with him, as he could be to have done with me. 
I was glad enough to get him out of the room ; I 
did not want him to stand bowing and cringing." 



" If any man had behaved so insolently to me," 
answered she, " I would never again have suffered 
him in my house." 

"Well," said Mrs. Thrale, "your ladyship has a 
great deal more dignity than I have ! — Dr. Johnson, 
we are talking of the respect due from inferiors ; — 
and Lady Ladd is of the same side you are." 

"Why, madam," said he, "subordination is 
always necessary to the preservation of order and 

" I protest," said Lady Ladd, " I have no notion 
of submitting to any kind of impertinence : and I 
never will bear either to have any person nod to 
me, or enter a room where I am, without bowing." 

"But, madam," said Dr. Johnson, " what if they 
will nod, and what if they won't bow ? — how then ? " 

"Why, I always tell them of it," said she. 

" Oh, commend me to that ! " cried Mrs. Thrale ; 
" I'd sooner never see another bow in my life, than 
turn dancing-master to hair-dressers." 

The doctor laughed his approbation, but said 
that every man had a right to a certain degree of 
respect, and no man liked to be defrauded of that 

" Well, sir," said Mrs. Thrale, " I hope you meet 
with respect enough ! " 

" Yes, madam," answered he, " I am very well 

" Nay, if you an't, I don't know who should be ; 
for I believe there is no man in the world so greatly 

Soon after he went, I went and shut myself up 
in a sweet cool summer-house, 1 to read Irene : — 
which, indeed, though not a good play, is a beauti- 
ful poem. 

As my dear father spent the rest of the day here, 

1 This was the summer-house where Johnson read and worked and 
made pious resolutions (Hill's Boswell, 1887, iv. 134). 


I will not further particularise, but leave accounts 
to his better communication. He probably told 

you that the P family came in to tea ; and, as 

he knows Mrs. P , pray tell him what Dr. 

Johnson says of her. When they were gone Mrs. 
Thrale complained that she was quite worn out 
with that tiresome silly woman, who had talked of 
her family and affairs till she was sick to death of 
hearing her. 

" Madam," said he, " why do you blame the 
woman for the only sensible thing she could do — 
talking of her family and her affairs ? For how 
should a woman who is as empty as a drum, talk 
upon any other subject ? — If you speak to her of 
the sun, she does not know it rises in the east ; — 
if you speak to her of the moon, she does not know 
it changes at the full ; — if you speak to her of the 
queen, she does not know she is the king's wife ; — 
how, then, can you blame her for talking of her 
family and affairs ? " 

Yesterday morning, to my great regret, Dr. 
Johnson went to town, but we expect him again 
to-day. Lady Ladd also went yesterday. 

When they were gone, I had such a conversation 
with Mrs. Thrale ! We were alone in the library 
for, I believe, three hours, and though I shall only 
give you two or three of the principal speeches, I 
am sure you will not wonder that the extraordinary 
good opinion she professes of me should have quite 
overpowered me with gratitude and surprise. 

Our tete-a-tete began by comparing notes about 
Irene, and picking out favourite passages, and 
agreeing that though the language and sentiments 
are equally noble, there was not any reason to 
wonder that the play altogether had no success on 
the stage. Thence we talked over all the plays we 
could recollect, and discussed their several merits 


according to our particular notions, and when we 
had mentioned a great number, approving some for 
this thing, and disliking others for that, Mrs. Thrale 
suddenly said, 

" Now, Miss Burney, if you would write a play, 
I have a notion it would hit my taste in all things ; 
do — you must write one ; a play will be something 
worth your time — it is the road both to honour and 
profit ; and why should you have it in your power 
to gain both, and not do it ? 

" I declare," continued she, " I mean, and think 
what I say, with all my heart and soul ! You seem 
to me to have the right and true talents for writing 
a comedy ; you would give us all the fun and 
humour we could wish, and you would give us a 
scene or two of the pathetic kind that would set 
all the rest off. If you would but try, I am sure 
you would succeed, and give us such a play as 
would be an honour to all your family. And, in 
the grave parts, all your sentiments would be edify- 
ing, and such as would do good, — and I am sure 
that would be real pleasure to you." 

I recollect her words as exactly as my memory 
will allow. 

"Hannah More," added she, "got nearly four 
hundred pounds for her foolish play, 1 and if you did 
not write a better than hers, I say you deserve to 
be whipped ! — Your father, I know, thinks the 
same ; but we will allow that he may be partial ; 
but what can make me think it ? — and Dr. John- 
son ; — he, of all men, would not say it if he did not 
think it." 

She then rejoiced I had published Evelina as I 
did, without showing it to anybody ; " because you 
have proved what are your own real resources," she 
said, "and now you have nothing to do but to 

1 Hannah More's tragedy of Percy was produced at Co vent Garden, 
December 10, 1777. 


write a play. Dr. Johnson, I am sure, will be at 
your service in anything in his power ; we'll make 
him write your prologue ; — we'll make him carry 
your play to the managers ; we'll do anything for 
you ; — and so, I am sure, he readily will. As to 
plot, situation, and character, nobody shall assist 
you in them, for nobody can ! " 

I will write no more, as these heads will give a 
notion of all the rest. 

From Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

Chessington, Dec. 8, 1778. 

My dear Fannikin — Exclusive of the high 
entertainment your Susannitical letter afforded me, 
I was much delighted with it on another account, 
and that a solid and substantial one : I mean, 
because it informed me of those numerous and 
powerful friends, your own genius and intrinsic 
merit have raised you up. The prospect is now 
fair before you — it cannot but be bright when shone 
upon by such first-rate luminaries of wit and learn- 
ing. Keep it in your eye ; and if you pursue your 
path with resolution, not suffering yourself to be 
checked by indolence or diffidence, and an over- 
strained modesty, I daresay it will lead you on to 
the temple of fame, and perhaps to that of fortune. 

'Tis true, I have more than once, Fanny, whis- 
pered in your ear a gentle caution — that you have 
much to lose. Why is that ? — because much you 
have gained. Now you have gone so far, and so 
rapidly, you will not be allowed to slacken your 
pace. This is so far from being meant as a dis- 
couragement, that it is intended to animate you. 
But it will explain what was in my head when 
I threw out those (perhaps useless, perhaps too 
officious) hints. I plainly foresaw (what has since 


happened) that, as your next step, you would be 
urged, strongly urged, by your many friends and 
admirers, to undertake a comedy. I think you 
capable, highly capable of it ; but in the attempt 
there are great difficulties in the way ; some more 
particularly and individually in the way of a Fanny, 
than of most people. 

I will instantly name these, lest you should 
misapprehend. I need not observe to you that 
in most of our successful comedies there are 
frequent lively freedoms (and waggeries that 
cannot be called licentious, neither) that give a 
strange animation and vigour to the style, and of 
which if it were to be deprived it would lose 
wonderfully of its salt and spirit. I mean such 
freedoms as ladies of the strictest character would 
make no scruple, openly, to laugh at, but at the 
same time, especially if they were prudes (and 
you know you are one), perhaps would shy at 
being known to be the authors of. Some comic 
characters would be deficient without strokes of 
this kind ; in scenes where gay men of the world 
are got together, they are natural and expected ; 
and the business would be mighty apt to grow fade 
without them. 

Of late years (I can't tell why, unless from the 
great purity of the age) some very fine-spun, all- 
delicate, sentimental comedies * have been brought 
forth on the English, and more particularly on the 
French stage, which (in my coarse way of thinking, 
at least) are such sick things, so void of blood and 
spirits, that they may well be called Comedies 
Larmoyantes ; — and I don't find that they have 
been greatly relished by the public in general, any 

1 These, which, notwithstanding the blow they had received from She 
Stoops to Conquer in 1773, were still alive, are admirably described in Gold- 
smith's essay in the Westminster Magazine, December 1772, vol. i. p. 4. 
He calls them "a kind of mulish production, with all the defects of its 
opposite parents [i.e. Comedy and Tragedy], and marked with sterility." 


more than by my vulgar soul. Moral — sublime to 
a degree — 

We cannot blame, indeed, — but we may sleep ! 1 

They put me in mind of a poor girl, a Miss 
Peachy (a real, and in the end, a melancholy 
story). She was a fine young woman, but thinking 
herself too ruddy and blowzy, it was her custom 
to bleed herself (an art she had learned on 
purpose) three or four times, against the Rugby 
races, in order to appear more dainty and lady-like 
at the balls, etc. Poor thing ! — she lost her aim ; 
for when she came she appeared like a ghost, and 
at last became one : — her arm bled in the night, 
and in the morning she was past recovery. 

I am afraid these fine performances are not 
pictures of real life and manners. I remember I 
sat next to a Frenchman at the play at Milan, 
who preferred the French theatre to the whole 
world, and as much disliked the English. When 
I asked his reason, he cried, 

"Ma foi, il faut pousser des beaux sentiments ! " 

Excuse these digressions : the sum total amounts 
to this' — it appears to me extremely difficult, 
throughout a whole spirited comedy, to steer 
clear of those agreeable, frolicsome jeuoc d? esprit, 
on the one hand, and languor and heaviness on 
the other : — pray observe, I only say difficult — not 
impracticable — at least to your dexterity ; and to 
that I leave it. 

I find myself forestalled by the intelligent Mrs. 
Montagu in another observation I was going to 
make, and which she very justly and judiciously 
enforces by the instance she gives of Fielding, 2 

1 Pope's Essay on Criticism, 1711, 1. 242. 
2 See ante, p. 126. 


who, though so eminent in characters and descrip- 
tions, did by no means succeed in comedy. 

'Tis certain, different talents are requisite for the 
two species of writing, though they are by no 
means incompatible ; I fear, however, the labouring 
oar lies on the comic author. 

In these little entertaining elegant histories, the 
writer has his full scope ; as large a range as he 
pleases to hunt in — to pick, cull, select whatever 
he likes : he takes his own time — he may be as 
minute as he pleases, and the more minute the 
better, provided that taste, a deep and penetrating 
knowledge of human nature, and the world, 
accompany that minuteness. When this is the 
case, the very soul, and all its most secret 
recesses and workings, are developed and laid as 
open to the view, as the blood globules circulating 
in a frog's foot, when seen through a microscope. 
The exquisite touches such a work is capable of 
(of which Evelina is, without flattery, a glaring 
instance), are truly charming. But of these great 
advantages, these resources, you are strangely 
curtailed the moment you begin a comedy. There 
everything passes in dialogue, — all goes on rapidly 
— narrative and descriptive, if not extremely short, 
become intolerable. The detail, which in Fielding, 
Marivaux, and Crebillon, is so delightful, on the 
stage would bear down all patience. There 
all must be compressed into quintessence ; the 
moment the scene ceases to move on briskly, and 
business seems to hang, sighs and groans are the 
consequence. Dreadful sound ! — In a word, if the 
plot, the story of the comedy does not open and 
unfold itself in the easy, natural, unconstrained 
flow of the dialogue — if that dialogue does not 
go on with spirit, wit, variety, fun, humour, 
repartee, and — and, all in short into the bargain 
— serviteur ! — good-bye, t'ye ! 


One more : now, Fanny, don't imagine that I 
am discouraging you from the attempt : or that I 
am retracting or shirking back from what I have 
said above — i.e. that I think you highly capable 
of it. On the contrary, I reaffirm it : I affirm 
that in common conversation I observe in you a 
ready choice of words, with a quickness and 
conciseness that have often surprised me. This 
is a lucky gift for a comic writer, and not a very 
common one : so that if you have not the united 
talents I demand, I don't know who has : for if 
you have your familiar, your sprite, for ever thus 
at your elbow without calling for, surely it will 
not desert you, when in deep conjuration raising 
your genius in your closet. 

God bless you, Adieu, — Your loving daddy — 

S. C. 



Diary resumed — Pacchierotti — Description of his singing — 
Bertoni — Giardini — Piozzi — An adventure — Dr. Francklin — 
Letters from Mrs. Thrale and Mr. Crisp — Remonstrance on 
false delicacy — Difficulties of dramatic writing — Dancing in 
fetters — How to use advice — Miss Burney's views on 
comedy — Female authorship — Letter from Miss Burney to 
Mr. Crisp — The pains of publicity — Diary resumed — Sir 
Joshua Reynolds — Mason, the poet — Visit from Dr. Johnson 
— Mrs. Thrale — Visit to Sir Joshua Reynolds — Mrs. 
Horneck and Mrs. Bunbury — Lord Palmerston — Mrs. 
Cholmondeley — A scene — Cross-examination — A dialogue — 
The knight of Plympton — Visit to Streatham — Dr. Johnson 
— Mr. Seward — Dr. Burney — Fair and brown — A dialogue 
with Dr. Johnson — Books and authors — Table-talk between 
Johnson, Mrs. Thrale, and Miss Burney — Evelina — Mrs. 
Montagu — Three classes of critics on books — Miss Burney's 
anxiety to avoid notice as an author — Mrs. Cholmondeley 
— Lord Palmerston — Visit to Dr. Johnson — Mr. Seward — 
Lady Miller's vase — Baretti — Visit to Mrs. Cholmondeley — 
A party of wits and fashionables — The beautiful Mrs. 
Sheridan — Mrs. Crewe — Pacchierotti' s singing — The Duke 
of Dorset and Miss Cumberland — Hannah More — Her habit 
of nattering her friends — The Earl of Harcourt — Mrs. Vesey 
— R. B. Sheridan — His personal appearance and manner — 
Dr. Joseph Warton — Sheridan's opinion of Evelina — The 
Sylph — Dialogue between Sheridan, Miss Burney, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, and Mrs. Cholmondeley — Miss Burney urged by 
Sheridan to write a comedy. 

Diary resumed 

St Martins Street, January 1779. — How will 
you bear, my dearest Susan, to hear about 



CJcurvLtesL JafuiM)n 
after zKeynold^ . 



Pac 1 — may I finish the name ? I am almost afraid 
— yet think it is a miserable compliment to treat 
you as a baby, and hide from you the playthings 
you must not have in your own hand. So I will 
only remind you of similar situations in which I 
have been ; and, at the same time, reminding 
myself of your conduct upon those occasions — 
the upshot of all which will be a true account of 
the transaction. 

Well, last Saturday morning, "mine fader" 
sent a present of his History 2 to Pacchierotti, by 
way of an incentive to the study of the English 
language. At the opera at night, he promised to 
call here on Sunday. And so on Sunday morning 
he came, attended by Signor Bertoni. 3 

Well, but he did not sing — so far be easy. 

I like him of all things : he is perfectly modest, 
humble, well-bred, and unassuming. He has a 
very anxious desire to learn English, which he has 
studied grammatically, and with much application 
and diligence abroad : and he promised to come 
hither frequently to take lessons of conversation. 
By way of beginning with vigour, he settled to 
drink tea here the next day. 

They came early, and I am more pleased with 
Pacchierotti than ever : he seems to be perfectly 
amiable, gentle, and good : his countenance is 
extremely benevolent, and his manners infinitely 
interesting. We are all become very good friends, 
and talked English, French, and Italian, by com- 
modious starts, just as phrases occurred — an 
excellent device for appearing a good linguist. 

He had a very bad cold, yet sung with the 
utmost good humour, as soon as asked. Bertoni 

1 Gasparo Pacchierotti, 1744-1821, a celebrated singer. He had just 
come to London with Bertoni. 

2 The History of Music, vol. i. of which had been issued in 1776. 

3 Ferdinando Giuseppe Bertoni, 1727-1810, a composer. He brought 
out " Quinto Fabio," in which Pacchierotti took Fabio. 


accompanied him. He first sang a rondeau of 
"Artaserse," of Bertoni's. It is a very fine one, 
and had it been a very execrable one, he would 
have made it exquisite : such taste, expression, 
freedom, fancy, and variety, never were before 
joined, but in Agujari. 1 His voice, however, was 
by no means clear, though extremely touching : 
but his cold quite tormented him. He afterwards 
sung a song for a tenor in the same opera, and 
admirably ; then some accompanied recitative to a 
song in the "Orfeo" of Bertoni, 2 and lastly, the 
" Che faro senza JEuridice." 

He and I were very sociable : and he said, in 

" Miss Borni give me very much encourage ; 
but is very troublesome the difficulties." 

Bertoni is very much that common sort of 
character that admits no delineation. 

Piozzi, by invitation, came in the evening : he 
did not sing, but was very good-humoured. 3 

Giardini — not by invitation — came also. 4 We 
did not, just then, wish for him, but he was very 

[I have seen but four folks worth mentioning, 
these Italians excepted, since you went. 

The first and second were, Mr. Magellan and 
Mr. Humphreys, who both drank tea on Monday 
se night last. 

Mr. Magellan was just a V ordinaire, Mr. 
Humphreys was almost insufferable, from curiosity 
about the book-writer. He said not a word, but 

1 Lucrezia Agujari, otherwise La Bastardina or Bastardella, 1743-83, 
a celebrated singer, who had recently visited London. According to 
Grove's Dictionary of Music she was the highest and most extended soprano 
on record. Her Voice reached " from the middle of the harpsichord to 
two notes above it," says Fanny {Early Diary, 1889, ii. 82). 

2 Bertoni wrote an " Orfeo " in 1776 to the same libretto as Gluck's. 

3 Gabriele Piozzi, d. 1809, afterwards the second husband of Mrs. 

4 Felice de Giardini, 1716-96, violinist. From 1774 to 1780 he was 
leader of the Pantheon concerts. 


he looked all meaning, and actually stared me so 
much out of countenance, that I was obliged to 
contrive myself a seat out of his way. He seemed 
as if he thought to read in my face at least half the 
characters he had read in the book ; which half, 
whether the vulgar or the genteel part of the 
family, I cannot pretend to say, but I was not 
afflicted when he went.] 

On Thursday, I had another adventure, and one 
that has made me grin ever since. A gentleman 
inquiring for my father, was asked into the parlour. 
The then inhabitants were only my mother and me. 
In entered a square old gentleman, well-wigged, 
formal, grave, and important. He seated himself. 
My mother asked if he had any message for my 
father ? 

" No, none." 

Then he regarded me with a certain dry kind 
of attention for some time ; after which, turning 
suddenly to my mother, he demanded, 

" Pray, ma'am, is this your daughter ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" Oh ! this is Evelina, is it ? " 

" No, sir," cried I, staring at him, and glad none 
of you were in the way to say Yes. 

" No ? " repeated he, incredulous ; " is not your 
name Evelina, ma'am ? " 

" Dear, no, sir," again quoth I, staring harder. 

" Ma'am," cried he drily, " I beg your pardon ! 
I had understood your name was Evelina." 

And soon after, he went away. 

When he put down his card, who should it 
prove but Dr. Francklin ! l " Was it not queer ? " 

1 Thomas Francklin, D.D., 1721-84, Chaplain and Professor of Ancient 
History to the Royal Academy. In 1T80 he had published a three- 
volume translation of Lucian, dedicated to Johnson. 


From Mrs. Thrale to Miss Burney 


Instead of writing monitory letters to Dick, 1 I 
find I must now be a little serious with the great 
" Evelina." Why will you, my lovely friend, give 
consequence to trifles, by thus putting your peace 
in their power? Is not the world full of severe 
misfortunes and real calamities ? and will you fret 
and look pale about such nonsense as this ? Let 
me see you on Thursday next, if but for an hour, 
and let me see you cheerful, I insist. Your 
looking dismal can only advertise the paltry 
pamphlet, 2 which I firmly believe no one out of 
your own family has seen, and which is now only 
lying like a dead kitten on the surface of a dirty 
horse-pond, incapable of scratching any one who 
does not take pains to dirty their fingers for it. 

But it has proclaimed you authoress of Evelina ! 
And is that an injury ? Surely you are not yet 
to learn how highly that little sweet book has been 
praised, admired, and esteemed by people whose 
good word should at least weigh with you against 
such a wretch as I hear this is, who has mentioned 
your name irreverently — for I do not perceive he 
has done anything else at last. 

And so, as Mowbray the brutal says of Love- 
lace the gay, " We comforted and advised him." 3 

When will Miss Susan come home, that I may 
have you here to brace your fibres, and enable you 
to endure these direful misfortunes ? But I see 

1 Richard Thomas Burney, Dr. Burney's son by his second wife. He 
went into the Indian Civil Service. 

2 This was a satire entitled Warley, by the Rev. George Huddesford, 
1749-1809, in which, to the sensitive Fanny's "infinite frettation" she 
had been spoken of as " dear little Burney." " Will it gain approbation 
from ' dear little Burney ' " — the writer had said. 

3 Clarissa. 1748, vii. 215. 


you saying, "Why this is Mrs. Selwyn, 1 without 
her wit." 

Very well, madam ; don't you be Lady Louisa, 
then, without her quality. 

Give my best love and kindest compliments to 
your amiable household. You know if I love you, 
and may be sure I pity your pain, but do not mean 
to soothe it. This world is a rough road, and 
those who mean to tread it many years must not 
think of beginning their journey in buff soles. 

What hurts me most is lest you should like me 
the less for this letter. Yet I will be true to my 
own sentiments and send it ; if you will think me 
coarse and indelicate, I can't help it. You are 
twenty odd years old, and I am passed thirty-six — 
there's the true difference. I have lost seven 
children, and been cheated out of two thousand 
a year, 2 and I cannot, indeed I cannot, sigh and 
sorrow over pamphlets and paragraphs. Did you 
never hear Johnson's story of the " Man with his 
Paper and Packthread " ? 

Mr. Pepys 3 — my master in chancery, as your 
papa calls him — says you should try at a tragedy. 
He is in love with the character of Macartney, the 
pistol scene, and the denouement with Sir John 

Murphy is charmed with the comic part, and 
thinks highly of the writer. Will these help to fill 
the scale against our formidable adversary — Heaven 
knows who — in the garret ? 

1 A caustic character in Evelina. 

2 Mrs. Thrale had twelve children in all, of whom only one was a boy, 
Henry, who died in 1776. Of eleven girls, four survived, — Hester (Lady 
Keith), Sophia (Mrs. Merrick Hoare), Susan, and Cecilia (Mrs. Mostyn). 
The money losses referred to were owing to a certain Humphrey Jackson, 
who had persuaded Thrale that beer could be produced without malt and 
hops (Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Piozzi, 2nd ed. 1861, ii., 25-27). 

3 William Weller Pepys, 1740-1825, afterwards a baronet. He was 
Master in Chancery from 1775 to his death. According to Walpole 
he had "a nose longer than himself." He gave Blue-Stocking parties, 
and was Prime Minister to Mrs. Montagu. His very interesting Corre- 
spondence has recently been published by Miss Gaussen (1904). 




Adieu till Thursday, "my own dear little 
Burney," and forgive the sauciness of a truly affec- 
tionate and faithful friend, servant, etc., 

H. L. Thrale. 

I can't stay till Thursday to hear if you forgive 
me, nor will forgiveness do. You must not love 
me less for all this — it would vex me more than 
many a silly couplet, which you mind more than 
your friends. Once more, adieu ! 

Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

January 1779. 

Your patience, my dear daddy, in being able to 
mention my name without invectives, as you have 
done in your letter to Hetty, forces me to write, 
because it makes me eager to thank you for not 
having taken offence at me. Indeed your last most 
excellent letter ought to have had my acknow- 
ledgments long since, but the fact is I received 
it when I was most violently out of sorts, and 
really had not spirits to answer it. I intended to 
have kept from you the subject of my uneasiness, 
because I know you will only scoff it, or, perhaps, 
think it should rather have gratified than dispirited 
me ; and in truth I have been so plentifully lectured 
already upon my vexation, that I feel no gout for 
further lashing and slashing ; and yet I will own to 
you the subject, because I had rather of the two 
you should think me a fool, than think I wanted 
gratitude sufficient to thank you for the many 
useful hints, the kind and excellent advice you 
took the trouble to give me. 

In short, not to spend my whole letter in enig- 
matical preluding, just as I received your letter I 
had had information that my name had got into 


print, and what was yet worse, was printed in a 
new pamphlet. 

I cannot tell you, and if I could you would 
perhaps not believe me, how greatly I was shocked, 
mortified, grieved, and confounded at this intelli- 
gence : I had always dreaded as a real evil my 
name's getting into print — but to be lugged into a 
pamphlet ! 

I must, however, now I have gone so far, tell 
you how it is, lest you should imagine matters 
worse. This vile pamphlet is called Warley : a 
Satire ; it is addressed to the first artist in Europe, 
who proves to be Sir Joshua Reynolds. Probably 
it is to his unbounded partiality for Evelina that I 
owe this most disagreeable compliment, for he had 
been so eager to discover the author, that by what 
I had reason given me to conjecture, I fancy he 
has been not a little laughed at since the discovery, 
for divers coviique sort of speeches which he had 
made while in the dark. 

So now the murder's out ! but, dear daddy, don't 
belabour me for my weakness, though I confess I 
was for more than a week unable to eat, drink, or 
sleep, for vehemence of vexation. I am now got 
tolerably stout again, but I have been furiously 
lectured for my folly (as I see everybody thinks 
it) by all who have known of it. I have, there- 
fore, struggled against it with all my might, and 
am determined to aim at least at acquiring more 
strength of mind. 

Yet, after all, I feel very forcibly that I am not 
— that 1 have not been — and that I never shall be 
formed or fitted for any business with the public. 
Yet now my best friends, and my father at their 
head, absolutely prohibit a retreat ; otherwise I 
should be strongly tempted to empty the whole 
contents of my bureau into the fire, and to vow 
never again to fill it. But, had my name never 



got abroad with my book, ere this I question not 
I should again have tried how the world stood 
affected to me. 

Now once again to your letter. 
Why, my dear daddy, will you use so vile, so 
ill-applied a word as " officious " when you are giving 
me advice ? Is it not of all favours the most valu- 
able you can confer on me ? and don't I know that 
if you had not somewhat of a sneaking kindness 
for me you would as soon bite off your own nose, 
as the Irishman says, as take so much trouble about 
me ? I do most earnestly, seriously, and solemnly 
entreat that you will continue to me this first, 
best, greatest proof of regard, and I do, with the 
utmost truth and gratitude, assure you that it is 
more really flattering to me than all the flummery 
in the world. I only wish, with all my heart, you 
would be more liberal of it. 

Every word you have urged concerning the salt 
and spirit of gay, unrestrained freedom in comedies, 
carries conviction along with it, — a conviction which 
I feel, in trembling ; should I ever venture in that 
walk publicly, perhaps the want of it might prove 
fatal to me. I do, indeed, think it most likely that 
such would be the event, and my poor piece, though 
it might escape catcalls and riots, would be fairly 
slept off the stage. I cannot, however, attempt to 
avoid this danger, though I see it, for I would a 
thousand times rather forfeit my character as a 
writer, than risk ridicule or censure as a female. 
I have never set my heart on fame, and therefore 
would not, if I could, purchase it at the expense of 
all my own ideas of propriety. You who know 
me for a prude will not be surprised, and I hope 
not offended, at this avowal, for I should deceive 
you were I not to make it. If I should try, I must 
e'en take my chance, and all my own expectations 
may be pretty easily answered. 


The Streathamites have been all reassembled 
for these six weeks, and I have had invitation upon 
invitation to join them, or, in Mrs. Thrale's words, 
to go home. But Susan is at Howletts, 1 and I can 
by no means leave town till her return. However, 
we correspond, and Mrs. Thrale's kindness for me 
promises to be as steady as it is flattering and 
delightful to me ; but I never knew how much in 
earnest and in sincerity she was my friend till she 
heard of my infinite frettation upon occasion of 
being pamphleted ; and then she took the trouble 
to write me a long scolding letter ; and Dr. John- 
son himself came to talk to me about it, and to 
reason with me ; and now I see that they have 
sufficient regard to find fault with me, I do in- 
deed hope that I am well with them. — Yours 
affectionately, F. B. 

From Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

Chessington, January 1779. 

I long of all things, Fannikin, to see JVarley, 
and the continuation of your Journal (for I have 
copied and will faithfully return by the first oppor- 
tunity your last). If you answer me, you have not 
continued it, you are unpardonable, and I advise 
you to set about it immediately, as well as you can, 
while any traces of it rest in your memory. It 
will one day be the delight of your old age — it will 
call back your youth, your spirits, your pleasures, 
your friends, whom you formerly loved, and who 
loved you (at that time, also, probably, long gone 
off the stage), and lastly, when your own scene is 
closed, remain a valuable treasure to those that 
come after you. But I will not suppose you 
have not continued it — you can't be so wanting to 

1 In Kent, the seat of Lady Hales, formerly Coussmaker. 


yourself. This is what I require — the whole in all 
its details — not bits and scraps of three characters 
at a time, as you talk of — that won't satisfy my 

As to your vexation, child, I don't mind it of a 
pin. Framed as you are, I knew that must come 
first before you could be easy. People that are 
destined to live in the midst of the world, must and 
ought to be inoculated before they can go about in 
safety. You talk of being slipped off the stage — 
would you wish your book to die such a death ? 
There is no alternative ; if it lives, its fate and 
yours are inseparable, and the names of Evelina 
and Burney must and will go together : so that 
your discontent at what has happened, to me 
seems strangely ill-founded ; and your fantastic 
sickly stomach is to recoil forsooth, because you 
cannot compass impossibilities ! 

Well, I have been ruminating a good deal on 
the obstacles and difficulties I mentioned in my 
last, that lie directly across your path (as a prude) 
in the walk of comedy. On the most mature con- 
sideration, I do by no means retract the general 
principle that produced those observations ; I will 
never allow you to sacrifice a grain of female 
delicacy for all the wit of Congreve and Vanbrugh 
put together — the purchase would be too dear ; 
but thus much I will assert, and can prove by 
several instances, viz., that light principles may be 
displayed without light expressions ; and that is a 
rock the female must take care to steer clear of — 
vice must not talk unlike itself; but there is no 
necessity it should show all its filth. A great 
deal of management and dexterity will certainly 
be requisite to preserve spirit and salt, and yet 
keep up delicacy ; but it may be done, and you 
can do it if anybody. Do you remember, about 
a dozen years ago, how you used to dance Nancy 


Dawson 1 on the grass plot, with your cap on the 
ground, and your long hair streaming down your 
back, one shoe off, and throwing about your head 
like a mad thing ? Now you are to dance Nancy 
Dawson with fetters on ; there is the difference : 
yet there is certainly a nameless grace and charm 
in giving a loose to that wildness and friskiness 

I am very glad you have secured Mrs. Montagu 
for your friend ; her weight and interest are power- 
ful ; but there is one particular I do not relish ; 
though she means it as a mark of favour and 
distinction ; — it is, where she says, " If Miss 
Burney does write a play, I beg I may know of it, 
and (if she thinks proper) see it." 

Now Fanny, this same seeing it (in a professed 
female wit, authoress, and Maecenas into the 
bargain), I fear implies too much interference — 
implies advising, correcting, altering, etc. etc. etc.; 
not only so, but in so high a critic, the not submit- 
ting to such grand authority, might possibly give 
a secret, concealed, lurking offence. Now d'ye see, 
as I told you once before, I would have the whole 
be ail my own — all of a piece ; and to tell you the 
truth, I would not give a pin for the advice of 
the ablest friend who would not suffer me at last 
to follow my own judgment without resentment. 
Besides let me whisper in your ear the very words 
Dr. Johnson made use of when Miss Streatfleld's 
letter was mentioned, — 

" She is " etc. etc. etc. ; " but my little B. writes 
a better letter." 

Adieu ! send me a vast journal to copy, con- 
taining a full and true account of all the variety 
of names you have given me a list of, and what 
they have said of and to you. May I send to 

1 See ante, p. 40. It may be added to that note, that there is a 
portrait of Nancy Dawson in the Garrick Club. 


Gast * my copy of your Journal, upon condition of 
her letting nobody see it but Molly Lenthal ? 2 
Shall we see you at Chessington this summer ? or 
are you to be at home at Streatham the whole 
season, and the old homely home quite forgotten ? 
One more adieu ! your loving daddy, S. C. 

Diary resumed 

To be sure I have been most plentifully lectured 
of late ; and to be sure I have been most plentifully 
chagrined ; but there is but one voice, and that 
goes against me. 1 must, therefore, give up the 
subject, and endeavour to forget the ideas it raised 
in me. 

I will try, my dear Susy, to become somewhat 
more like other folks, if, as it seems by their reason- 
ing, I am now so different to them. All that I 
can say for myself is, that I have always feared 
discovery, always sought concealment, and always 
known that no success could counter - balance 
the publishing my name. However, what is 
inevitable ought not to torment long, and after 
such counsel as I have received, from almost all 
my best friends, it becomes my duty to struggle 
against my refractory feelings. 

And now, my love, let me thank you for your 
letter, and let me try to send you one that may 
make some amends for my last. 

I will recollect the most particular circumstances 
that have happened, journal fashion, according to 
the old plan. 

This same pamphlet that has so much grieved 
me, was brought home by my mother on Thursday. 
But who says my name is not at full length ? I 
wish to Heaven it were not ! 

1 See Editor's Introduction, p. 11. 

2 Mrs. Lenthall of Burford, a descendant of Speaker Lenthall, and 
friend of Mrs. Gast. 


At night my father went to the Royal Academy 
to hear Sir Joshua Reynolds discourse ; l and now 
for a bouquet of uncommon fragrance. Mr. Mason 2 
came up to my father, and wished him joy, and 
said the finest things imaginable of the book, and 
extolled the characters, and talked it all over. 
You who respect and admire Mr. Mason as much 
as I do, will be sure such praise was some cordial 
to me. Mr. Humphreys 3 too joined his vote. 
My father himself has seemed more pleased with 
Mr. Mason's approbation than with anybody's since 
the Streathamites'. 

On Monday, to my great dissatisfaction, Mrs. 
Reynolds came. 4 I was woefully dumpish. 

" Pray," said she, after some time, " how does 
Miss Fanny do ? Oh no ! — not Miss Fanny — Miss 
Sukey, I mean ! — this I think is Miss Fanny ? — 
though your name, ma'am, is swallowed up in 
another, — that of — of — of Miss Burney, — if not of 
— of — of, dear, how odd in Dr. Franklin to ask if 
that was not your name ? " 

To be sure I stared, and asked where she had 
her intelligence ? I found, from my father himself. 

" Well," continued she, " what would not Mrs. 
Horneck 5 and Mrs. Bunbury 6 give to see the writer 
of that book ! Why, they say they would walk a 
hundred and sixty miles only to see her, if that 
would do ! " 

"Why then," quoth I, "X would walk just as 
far to avoid them ! " 

1 The Eighth Discourse, December 10, 1778. 

2 William Mason, 1724-97, the friend of Gray, and the author 'of 
Elfrlda, 1752, and Caractacus, 1759. Dr. Burney had made his acquaint- 
ance at Mrs. Cibber's in Scotland Yard. 

3 Perhaps Ozias Humphry, the miniaturist, 1742-1810. 

4 Frances Reynolds, Sir Joshua's sister. See ante, p. 60. 

5 Mrs. Horneck was the widow of Captain Kane Horneck. She came, 
like Sir Joshua, from Devonshire. 

6 Mrs. Bunbury, 1754-99, was her daughter Catherine, Goldsmith's 
" Little Comedy," who had been married since 1771 to H. W. Bunbury 
of Barton, the caricaturist. 


" Oh no ! don't say that ! I hope you will have 
the goodness to consent to meet them ! But I 
think I have made out how Dr. Franklin came to 
say that odd thing. * Oh, ho,' thought he, ' am I 
now in company with the writer of that celebrated 
book ? Well, I must say something ! ' So then 
he became so embarrassed, that in his confusion he 
made the blunder.'' 

Now I think the only doubt is, which was most 
infinitely absurd, the question or the comment ? 

[The next morning the Misses Palmer called. 
They were cold and formal, and full of reproaches 
that I had been so unsociable ; however, by 
degrees, their reserve wore off. They invited me 
very pressingly for Saturday evening. I would 
fain have been excused, for I more than ever 
wished to avoid seeing Sir Joshua Reynolds, as I 
could not but suppose he as well as myself must 
think of this vile pamphlet upon our meeting, and 
as I must owe to his extreme partiality to the book, 
and talk of the writer, the line that mentions me. 
However, they obviated all possible objections, and 
disregarded all offered excuses. My father was to 
be at the Opera — still I must come. My mother 
was engaged by expecting Miss Young — still I was 
not to be let off. If I were ill, they vowed they 
would send a physician ; and, in short, I was 
obliged to promise to wait on them ; though I said 
I must hope at least to find them alone. 

On Thursday, my dear father talked me over 
quite seriously, about my vexation ; and, to be 
brief, made me promise to think no more of it — 
which though I could not literally perform, I have 
done all that in me lay.] 

On Friday, I had a visit from Dr. Johnson ! he 
came on purpose to reason with me about this 
pamphlet, which he had heard from my father had 
so greatly disturbed me. 


Shall I not love him more than ever ? How- 
ever, Miss Young l was just arrived, and Mr. 
Bremner 2 spent the evening here, and therefore he 
had the delicacy and goodness to forbear coming 
to the point. Yet he said several things that I 
understood, though they were unintelligible to 
all others ; and he was more kind, more good- 
humoured, more flattering to me than ever. In- 
deed, my uneasiness upon this subject has met 
with more indulgence from him than from any- 
body. He repeatedly charged me not to fret ; 
and bid me not repine at my success, but think of 
Floretta, in the Fairy Tale, 3 who found sweetness 
and consolation in her wit sufficient to counter- 
balance her scoffers and libellers ! Indeed he was 
all good humour and kindness, and seemed quite 
bent on giving me comfort as well as flattery. 

The next evening, just as I was dressed for my 
formidable visit at Sir Joshua's, I received a letter 
from Mrs. Thrale, the longest and most delightful 
she has ever written me. It contains, indeed, warm 
expostulations upon my uneasiness, and earnest 
remonstrances that I would overcome it ; but that 
she should think me worth the trouble of reproof, 
and the danger of sincerity, flattered, soothed, and 
cheered me inexpressibly ; and she speaks so affec- 
tionately of her regard for me, that I feel more 
convinced of it than ever. 

By the way, it is settled that I am not to make 
my visit to Streatham till your return to town ; our 
dear father not choosing to have us both absent at 
once. Nevertheless, Mrs. Thrale, whose invitations 

1 Miss Dorothy Young, a Lynn lady, who had been a friend of the 
first Mrs. Burney. 

2 Robert Bremner, a music printer and publisher, d. 1789. He issued 
Rudiments of Music in 1756. 

3 The Fountains, contributed by Johnson himself to Miss Williams's 
Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, 1766. The character of Floretta was 
intended for Mrs. Thrale (Hayward's Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Pioxzi 
(Thrale), 1861, i. 55). 


upon that plea are, with her usual good sense 
and propriety, dropped, or rather deferred being 
further pressed till your return, said in her charm- 
ing letter that she must see me, if only for an hour, 
and insisted that I should accompany my father on 
his next lesson day. I could not persuade myself 
to go out till I wrote an answer, which I did in the 
fulness of my heart, and without form, ceremony, 
or study of any kind. 

Now to this grand visit : which was become 
more tremendous than ever from the pamphlet 
business, as I felt almost ashamed to see Sir 
Joshua, and could not but conclude he would think 
of it too. 

[My mother, who changed her mind, went also. 
My father promised to come before the Opera was 
half over.] 

We found the Miss Palmers alone. We were, 
for near an hour, quite easy, chatty, and comfort- 
able ; no pointed speech was made, and no starer 
entered. [But when I asked the eldest Miss 
Palmer if she would allow me to look at some of 
her drawings, she said, 

" Not unless you will let me see something of 

" Of mine ? " quoth I. " Oh, I have nothing 
to show." 

" I am sure you have ; you must have." 

" No, indeed ; I don't draw at all." 

" Draw ? No, but I mean some of your 

" Oh, I never write — except letters." 

" Letters ? those are the very things I want 
to see." 

" Oh, not such as you mean." 

" Oh now, don't say so ; I am sure you are about 
something, and if you would but show me " 


" No, no, I am about nothing — I am quite out 
of conceit with writing." 

I had my thoughts full of the vile Warley. 

" You are out of conceit ? " exclaimed she ; " nay 
then, if you are, who should be otherwise ! " 

Just then, Mrs. and Miss Horneck 1 were 
announced. You may suppose I thought directly 
of the one hundred and sixty miles — and may take 
it for granted I looked them very boldly in the 
face ! Mrs. Horneck seated herself by my mother. 
Miss Palmer introduced me to her and her daughter, 
who seated herself next me ; but not one word 
passed between us ! 

Mrs. Horneck, as I found in the course of 
the evening, is an exceeding sensible, well-bred 
woman. Her daughter is very beautiful ; but was 
low-spirited and silent during the whole visit. She 
was, indeed, very unhappy, as Miss Palmer in- 
formed me, upon account of some ill news she had 
lately heard of the affairs of a gentleman to whom 
she is shortly to be married. 

I have not a great many bons mots of my own to 
record, as I think I seldom opened my mouth above 
once in a quarter of an hour. 

[Next came a Mr. Gwatkin, 2 of whom I have 
nothing to say, but that he was very talkative with 
Miss Offy Palmer, and very silent with everybody 
else ; and that, in their talk, which on his part was 
all in a low voice, I more than once heard my own 
name pronounced in a questioning tone. For this 
I thanked him not.] 

Not long after came a whole troop, consisting 
of Mr. Cholmondeley ! 3 — O perilous name ! — Miss 
Cholmondeley, and Miss Fanny Cholmondeley, his 

1 Mary Horneck, 1754-1840, Goldsmith's " Jessamy Bride," afterwards 
married to Colonel Edward Gwyn, Equerry to George III. Reynolds and 
Hoppner both painted her. 

2 Mr. R. L. Gwatkin, who afterwards married Offy Palmer. 

3 The Hon. and Rev. Robert Cholmondeley. 


daughters, and Miss Forrest. Mrs. Cholmondeley, 
I found, was engaged elsewhere, but soon expected. 

Now here was a trick of Sir Joshua, to make 
me meet all these people ! 

Mr. Cholmondeley is a clergyman ; nothing 
shining either in person or manners, but rather 
somewhat grim in the first, and glum in the last. 
Yet he appears to have humour himself, and to 
enjoy it much in others. 

Miss Cholmondeley I saw too little of to 

Miss Fanny Cholmondeley is a rather pretty, 
pale girl ; very young and inartificial, and though 
tall and grown up, treated by her family as a child, 
and seemingly well content to really think herself 
such. She followed me whichever way I turned, 
and though she was too modest to stare, never 
ceased watching me the whole evening. 

Miss Forrest is an immensely tall and not hand- 
some young woman. Further I know not. 

Next came my father, all gaiety and spirits. 
Then Mr. William Burke. 1 

Soon after, Sir Joshua returned home. He paid 
his compliments to everybody, and then brought a 
chair next mine, and said, 

" So, you were afraid to come among us ?" 

I don't know if I wrote to you a speech to that 
purpose, which I made to the Miss Palmers ? and 
which, I suppose, they had repeated to him. He 
went on, saying I might as well fear hobgoblins, 
and that I had only to hold up my head to be above 
them all. 

After this address, his behaviour was exactly 
what my wishes would have dictated to him, for 
my own ease and quietness ; for he never once 
even alluded to my book, but conversed rationally, 

1 A kinsman of Edmund Burke, d. 1798. His character is drawn in 
Goldsmith's Retaliation, ii. 43-50. 


gaily, and serenely : and so I became more comfort- 
able than I had been ever since the first entrance 
of company. 

Our subject was chiefly Dr. Johnson's Lives of 
the Poets ; we had both read the same, and there- 
fore could discuss them with equal pleasure, and 
we both were charmed with them, and therefore 
could praise them with equal warmth ; and we both 
love and reverence the writer, and therefore could 
mix observations on the book and the author with 
equal readiness. 

By the way, I believe I did not mention that 
Miss Palmer told me all the world gave me to 
Dr. Johnson, for that he spoke of me as he spoke 
of hardly anybody ! 

Our confab was interrupted by the entrance of 
Mr. King ; a gentleman who is, it seems, for ever 
with the Burkes ; and presently Lord Palmerston 
was announced. 1 

[By a change of seats, I was now next to Mrs. 
Horneck, who, after some general conversation 
with me, said in a low voice, 

" I suppose, Miss Burney, I must not speak of 
Evelina to you ? " 

" Why, indeed, ma'am," said I, " I would rather 
you should speak of anything else." 

" Well, I must only beg leave to say one thing, 
which is, that my daughters had the credit of the 
first introducing it into this set. Mrs. Bunbury 
was the very first among us who read it ; she met 
it, accidentally, at a bookseller's, and she could not 
leave it behind her ; and when she had read it, she 
sent it to me, and wrote me word she was sure I 
should read it, and read it through, though it was 
a novel ; for she knew novels were not favourites 
with me ; and indeed, they are generally so bad, 

1 Henry Temple, 1739-1802, second Viscount, and father of the 
Victorian Premier. At this date he was M.P. for Hastings. 


that they are not to be read. But I have seen 
nothing like this since Fielding. But where, Miss 
Burney, where can, or could you pick up such 
characters ? where find such variety of incidents, 
yet all so natural ? " 

" Oh, ma'am, anybody might find who thought 
them worth looking for." 

Well, while this was going forward, a violent 
rapping bespoke, I was sure, Mrs. Cholmondeley, 1 
and I ran from the stand ers, and turning my back 
against the door, looked over Miss Palmer's cards ; 
for you may well imagine, I was really in a tremor 
at a meeting which so long has been in agitation, 
and with the person who, of all persons, has been 
most warm and enthusiastic for my book. 

She had not, however, been in the room half an 
instant, ere my father came up to me, and tapping 
me on the shoulder, said, "Fanny, here's a lady 
who wishes to speak to you." 

I curtsied in silence, she too curtsied, and fixed 
her eyes full on my face : and then tapping me 
with her fan, she cried, 

" Come, come, you must not look grave 
upon me." 

Upon this, I te - he'd ; she now looked at me 
yet more earnestly, and, after an odd silence, said, 

"But is it true?" 

" What, ma'am ? " 

" It can't be ! — tell me, though, is it true ?" 

I could only simper. 

" Why don't you tell me ? — but it can't be — I 
don't believe it ! — no, you are an impostor ! " 

Sir Joshua and Lord Palmerston were both at 

1 See ante, p. 38. Mrs. Cholmondeley — it may be observed — had 
been educated in France. Fanny describes her, in July 1780, as "gay, 
flighty, entertaining, and frisky as ever." 


her side — oh, how notably silly must I look ! She 
again repeated her question of " Is it true ? " and I 
again affected not to understand her ; and then Sir 
Joshua, taking hold of her arm, attempted to pull 
her away, saying, 

" Come, come, Mrs. Cholmondeley, I won't 
have her overpowered here ! " 

I love Sir Joshua much for this. But Mrs. 
Cholmondeley, turning to him, said, with quickness 
and vehemence, 

" Why, I ain't going to kill her ! don't be afraid, 
I shan't compliment her ! — I can't, indeed ! " 

Then, taking my hand, she led me through them 
all, to another part of the room, where again she 
examined my phiz, and viewed and reviewed my 
whole person. 

" Now," said she, "do tell me ; is it true ? " 

" What, ma'am ? — I don't — I don't know what 

" Pho ! what, — why, you know what : in short, 
can you read ? and can you write ? " 

" N — o, ma'am ! " 

" I thought so," cried she ; " I have suspected it 
was a trick, some time, and now I am sure of it. 
You are too young by half ! — it can't be ! " 

I laughed, and would have got away, but she 
would not let me. 

" No," cried she, " one thing you must, at least, 
tell me ; — are you very conceited ? Come, answer 
me," continued she. " You won't ? Mrs. Burney, 
Dr. Burney, — come here, — tell me if she is not very 
conceited ? — if she is not eat up with conceit by 
this time ? " 

They were both pleased to answer " Not half 

" Well," exclaimed she, " that is the most 
wonderful part of all ! Why, that is yet more 
extraordinary than writing the book ! " 


I then got away from her, and again looked over 
Miss Palmer's cards : but she was after me in a 

"Pray, Miss Burney," cried she, aloud, "do you 
know anything of this game ? " 

"No, ma'am." 

" No ? " repeated she ; " mafoi, that's pity ! " 

This raised such a laugh, I was forced to move 
on ; yet everybody seemed to be afraid to laugh, 
too, and studying to be delicate, as if they had been 
cautioned ; which, I have since found, was really 
the case, and by Sir Joshua himself. 

Again, however, she was at my side. 

" What game do you like, Miss Burney ? " cried 

" I play at none, ma'am." 

" No ? I wonder at that ! " 

Did you ever know such a toad ? l Again I 
moved on, and got behind Mr. W. Burke, who, 
turning round to me, said, 

" This is not very politic in us, Miss Burney, to 
play at cards, and have you listen to our follies." 

There's for you ! I am to pass for a censoress 

My frank will hold no more. Adieu, my dearest 

January 11. 

Your repeated call, my dear Susan, makes me 
once more attempt to finish my visit to Sir Joshua : 
but I have very much forgotten where I left off; 
therefore, if I am guilty of repetition or tautology, 
you must not much marvel. 

Mrs. Cholmondeley hunted me quite round the 
card-table, from chair to chair, repeating various 
speeches of Madame Duval ; and when, at last, I 
got behind a sofa, out of her reach, she called out 

1 See ante, p. 71. 


aloud, " Polly, Polly ! only think ! miss has danced 
with a lord ! " 

Some time after, contriving to again get near me, 
she began flirting her fan, and exclaiming, "Well, miss, 
I have had a beau, I assure you ! ay, and a very pretty 
beau too, though I don't know if his lodgings were so 
prettily furnished, and everything, as Mr. Smith's." 

Then, applying to Mr. Cholmondeley, she said, 
" Pray, sir, what is become of my lottery-ticket ? " 

" I don't know," answered he. 

I had now again made off, and, after much 
rambling, I at last seated myself near the card- 
table : but Mrs. Cholmondeley was after me in a 
minute, and drew a chair next mine. I now found 
it impossible to escape, and therefore forced myself 
to sit still. Lord Palmerston and Sir Joshua, in a 
few moments, seated themselves by us. 

I must now write dialogue-fashion, to avoid the 
enormous length of Mrs. C.'s name. 

Mrs. Choi. — I have been very ill ; monstrous ill 
indeed ; or else I should have been at your house 
long ago. Sir Joshua, pray how do you do ? You 
know, I suppose, that I don't come to see you ? 

Sir Joshua could only laugh ; though this was 
her first address to him. 

Mrs. Choi. — Pray, miss, what's your name ? 

F. B. — Frances, ma'am. 

Mrs. Choi. — Fanny ! Well, all the Fannys are 
excellent ! and yet, — my name is Mary ! Pray, 
Miss Palmers, how are you ? — though I hardly 
know if I shall speak to you to-night. I thought I 
should never have got here ! I have been so out of 
humour with the people for keeping me. If you 
but knew, cried I, to whom I am going to-night, 
and who I shall see to-night, you would not dare 
keep me muzzing 1 here ! 

1 Stupidly loitering ? (Davies, Supplemental Glossary). Mrs. Cholmonde- 
ley is given as the authority for this word. 



During all these pointed speeches, her pene- 
trating eyes were fixed upon me ; and what could I 
do ? — what, indeed, could anybody do, but colour 
and simper ? — all the company watching us, though 
all, very delicately, avoided joining the confab. 

Mrs. Choi. — My Lord Palmerston, I was told 
to-night that nobody could see your lordship for 
me, for that you supped at my house every night ? 
Dear, bless me, no ! cried I, not every night ! and 
I looked as confused as I was able ; but I am afraid 
I did not blush, though I tried hard for it ! 

Then, again, turning to me, 

" That Mr. What-d'ye-call-him, in Fleet Street, 
is a mighty silly fellow ; — perhaps you don't know 
who I mean ? — one T. Lowndes, — but maybe you 
don't know such a person ? " 

F. B. — No, indeed, I do not ! — that I can safely 

Mrs. Choi. — I could get nothing from him : but 
I told him I hoped he gave a good price ; and he 
answered me, that he always did things genteel. 

What trouble and tagging we had ! Mr. (I 

cannot recollect the name she mentioned) laid a 
wager the writer was a man : — I said I was sure it 
was a woman : but now we are both out ; for it's a 
girl ! 

In this comical, queer, flighty, whimsical manner 
she ran on, till we were summoned to supper ; for 
we were not allowed to break up before : and then, 
when Sir Joshua and almost everybody was gone 
downstairs, she changed her tone, and, with a face 
and voice both grave, said, 

" Well, Miss Burney, you must give me leave 
to say one thing to you ; yet, perhaps you won't, 
neither, will you ? " 

" What is it, ma'am ? " 

"Why, it is, that I admire you more than any 
human being ! and that I can't help ! " 


Then, suddenly rising, she hurried downstairs. 

[While we were upon the stairs, I heard Miss 
Palmer say to Miss Fanny Cholmondeley, " Well, 
you don't find Miss Burney quite so tremendous a 
person as you expected ? " 

Sir Joshua made me sit next him at supper ; 
Mr. William Burke was at my other side ; though 
afterwards, I lost the Knight of Plimton, who, as 
he eats no suppers, made way for Mr. Gwatkin, 
and, as the table was crowded, stood at the fire 
himself. He was extremely polite and flattering 
in his manners towards me, and entirely avoided all 
mention or hint at Evelina the whole evening : 
indeed, I think I have met with more scrupulous 
delicacy from Sir Joshua than from anybody, 
although I have heard more of his approbation than 
of almost any other person's. 

Mr. W. Burke was immensely attentive at 
table ; but, lest he should be thought a Mr. 
Smith for his pains, he took care, whoever he 
helped, to add, " You know I am all for the 
ladies ! "] 

I was glad I was not next Mrs. Cholmondeley ; 
but she frequently, and very provokingly, addressed 
herself to me ; once she called out aloud, " Pray, 
Miss Burney, is there anything new coming out ? " 
And another time, " Well, I wish people who can 
entertain me would entertain me ! " 

These sort of pointed speeches are almost worse 
than direct attacks ; for there is no knowing how 
to look, or what to say, especially where the eyes 
of a whole company mark the object for whom 
they are meant. 

To the last of these speeches I made no sort of 
answer : but Sir Joshua very good-naturedly turned 
it from me, by saying, 

" Well, let every one do what they can in their 
different ways ; do you begin yourself." 


" Oh, I can't ! " cried she ; " I have tried, but I 

"Do you think, then," answered he, "that all 
the world is made only to entertain you ? " 

A very lively dialogue ensued. But I grow 
tired of writing. One thing, however, I must 
mention, which, at the time, frightened me wofully. 

"Pray, Sir Joshua," asked Lord Palmerston, 
" what is this Warley l that is just come out ? " 

[Was not this a cruel question ? I felt in such 
a twitter !] 

" Why, I don't know," answered he ; " but the 
reviewers, my Lord, speak very well of it." 

Mrs. Choi.— Who wrote it ? 

Sir Joshua. — Mr. Huddisford. 

Mrs. Choi.— Oh! I don't like it at all, then! 
Huddisford ! What a name ! [Miss Burney, pray 
can you conceive anything of such a name as 
Huddisford ? I could not speak a word, and I 
daresay I looked no -how. But was it not an 
unlucky reference to me ?] 

Sir Joshua attempted a kind of vindication of 
him : but Lord Palmerston said, drily, 

" I think, Sir Joshua, it is dedicated to you ? " 

"Yes, my Lord," answered he. 

" Oh, your servant ! Is it so ? " cried Mrs. 
Cholmondeley ; "then you need say no more !" 

Sir Joshua laughed, and the subject, to my great 
relief, was dropped. 

When we broke up to depart, which was not till 
near two in the morning, Mrs. Cholmondeley went 
up to my mother, and begged her permission to 
visit in St. Martin's Street. Then, as she left the 
room, she said to me, with a droll sort of threaten- 
ing look, 

" You have not got rid of me yet ; I have been 
forcing myself into your house." 

1 See ante, p. 158 n. 


I must own I was not at all displeased at this, 
as I had very much and very reasonably feared 
that she would have been by then as sick of me 
from disappointment, as she was before eager for 
me from curiosity. 

When we came away, Offy Palmer, laughing, 
said to me, 

" I think this will be a breaking-in to you ! " 

" Ah," cried I, " if I had known of your party I " 

" You would have been sick in bed, I suppose ? " 

I would not answer " No," yet I was glad it was 

over. And so concludeth this memorable evening. 

Yet I must tell you that I observed with much 

delight, that whoever spoke of the Thrales, was 

sure to turn to me, whence I conclude, since I am 

sure no puffs of mine can have caused it, that her 

kindness towards me has been published by herself. 

I shall now skip to the Thursday following, 
when I accompanied my father to Streatham. 
We had a delightful ride, though the day was 

In two minutes we were joined by Mr. Seward, 
and in four, by Dr. Johnson. Mr. Seward, though 
a reserved and cold young man, has a heart open 
to friendship, and very capable of good-nature and 
goodwill, though I believe it abounds not with 
them to all indiscriminately : but he really loves 
my father, and his reserve once, is always, con- 
quered. He seemed heartily glad to see us both : 
and the dear Dr. Johnson was more kind, more 
pleased, and more delightful than ever. Our several 
meetings in town seem now to have quite estab- 
lished me in his favour, and I flatter myself that if 
he were now accused of loving me, he would not 
deny it, nor, as before, insist on waiting longer ere 
he went so far. 1 

1 See ante, p. 119. 


[" I hope, Dr. Burney," cried Mr. Seward, " you 
are now come to stay ? " 

" No ! " cried my father, shaking his head, " that 
is utterly out of my power at present." 

"Well, but this fair lady" (N.B.— Fair and 
brown are synonymous terms in conversation, how- 
ever opposite in looks) " I hope will stay ? " 

" No, no, no ! " was the response, and he came 
to me and pressed the invitation very warmly ; but 
Dr. Johnson, going to the window, called me from 

" Well, my dear," cried he, in a low voice, " and 
how are you now ? have you done fretting ? have 
you got over your troubles ? " 

" Ah, sir," quoth I, " I am sorry they told you 
of my folly ; yet I am very much obliged to you 
for bearing to hear of it with so much indulgence, 
for I had feared it would have made you hold me 
cheap ever after." 

" No, my dear, no ! What should I hold you 
cheap for ? It did not surprise me at all ; I 
thought it very natural ; but you must think no 
more of it." 

F. B. — Why, sir, to say the truth, I don't know, 
after all, whether I do not owe the affair in part to 
you ! 

Dr. J. — To me ? how so ? 

F. B.— Why, the appellation of " little Burney," 
I think, must have come from you, for I know of 
nobody else that calls me so. 

This is a fact, Susy, and the " dear little Burney/' 
makes it still more suspicious, for I am sure Sir 
Joshua Reynolds would never speak of me so 
facetiously after only one meeting. 

Dr. Johnson seemed almost shocked, and warmly 
denied having been any way accessory. 

"Why, sir," cried I, "they say the pamphlet was 
written by a Mr. Huddisford. Now I never saw, 


never heard of him before ; how, therefore, should 
he know whether I am little or tall ? he could not 
call me little by inspiration ; I might be a Pata- 
gonian for anything he could tell." 

Dr. J. — Pho ! fiddle-faddle ; do you suppose your 
book is so much talked of and not yourself? Do 
you think your readers will not ask questions, and 
inform themselves whether you are short or tall, 
young or old ? Why should you put it on me ? 

After this he made me follow him into the 
library, that we might continue our confab without 
interruption ; and just as we were seated, entered 
Mrs. Thrale. I flew to her, and she received me 
with the sweetest cordiality. They placed me 
between them, and we had a most delicious 

We talked over the visit at Sir Joshua's ; and 
Dr. Johnson told me that Mrs. Cholmondeley was 
the first person who publicly praised and recom- 
mended Evelina among the wits. Mrs. Thrale told 
me that at Tunbridge and Brighthelmstone it was 
the universal topic ; and that Mrs. Montagu had 
pronounced the dedication to be so well written, 
that she could not but suppose it must be the 

" She is very kind," quoth I, " because she likes 
one part better than another, to take it from 
me ! 

" You must not mind that," said Dr. Johnson, 
"for such things are always said where books are 
successful. There are three distinct kind of judges 
upon all new authors or productions ; the first are 
those who know no rules, but pronounce entirely 
from their natural taste and feelings ; the second 
are those who know and judge by rules ; and the 
third are those who know, but are above the rules. 
These last are those you should wish to satisfy. 
Next to them rate the natural judges ; but ever 


despise those opinions that are formed by the 

[Mrs. Thrale wanted me much to stay all night, 
but it could not be ; and she pressed me to come 
the next week, to be introduced to Miss Streatfield, 
who, she said, much wished the same ; but these 
wishes only serve to chill me, for I am sure I shall 
always disappoint them ; and therefore the minute 
I hear anybody desires particularly to see me, I 
desire particularly to avoid them ! 

Don't scold, Susy, for I can't help it. The idea 
of being an object of any attention gives me a 
restraint equally unconquerable and uncomfortable. 
I therefore entirely deferred repeating my visit till 
your return, for I only could have had leave for 
one day. 

When we came home we heard that Mrs. 
Cholmondeley had been at our house almost all the 
morning, asking questions innumerable about me, 
and asserting that she must come to close quarters 
with me, ere she could satisfy her mind fully that 
all those characters could be my own ! She said, 
moreover, that Lord Palmer ston, hearing the 
authoress of Evelina was to be at Sir Joshua's, had 
begged to be invited. 

But what was most charming, she said that my 
whole behaviour was sat upon afterwards, and 
that the jury brought in their verdict, that it was 
strictly proper. This, I will own, has relieved me 
from some very disagreeable apprehensions I had 
been full of, that I had certainly disappointed the 
whole party, and exposed myself to their ridicule.] 

Last week I called on Mrs. Williams, and Dr. 
Johnson, who had just returned from Streatham, 
came downstairs to me, and was so kind ! I quite 
dote on him ; and I do really believe that, take 
away Mr. Crisp, there is no man out of this house 
who has so real and affectionate a regard for me : 


and I am sure, take away the same person, I can 
with the utmost truth say the same thing in 

I asked after all the Streathamites. 

"Why," said he, "we now only want you — we 
have Miss Streatfleld, Miss Brown, Murphy, and 
Seward — we only want you ! Has Mrs. Thrale 
called on you lately ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" Ah," said he, " you are such a darling ! " 

Mrs. Williams added a violent compliment to 
this, but concluded with saying, 

" My only fear is lest she should put me in a 

" Sir Joshua Reynolds," answered Dr. Johnson, 
" says, that if he were conscious to himself of any 
trick, or any affectation, there is nobody he should 
so much fear as this little Burney ! " 

This speech he told me once before, so that I 
find it has struck him much ; and so I suppose it 
did Mr. Huddisford, who, probably, has heard one 
similar to it. 

• ••••• 

[The Sunday following, Mr. Seward drank tea, 
and Mr. Baretti supped here. I had a great deal 
of conversation with Mr. Seward about Miss 
Streatfleld : he thinks her a very pleasing girl ; 
but, notwithstanding her knowledge of what he 
calls "the crooked letters," he owned that he 
thought her neither bright nor deep, and rather 
too tender-hearted, for that she had tears at 

Miss Brown, though far less formed and less 
cultivated, he said, had a better natural under- 
standing : but she was coarse and rough. 

Of whom, I wonder, would Mr. Seward speak 
really well ? I think, altogether, he is more difficult 
to please as to persons than anybody I know. 


He was so facetious as to propose my writing 
for Lady Miller's vase, and undertook to convey 
my verses to it. 

He asked many questions of when I should go to 
Streatham ; but said he was sure Miss Streatfleld 
would not answer to me. 

Baretti worries me about writing — asks a million 
of questions of how much I have written, and 
so forth, and when I say " Nothing," he raves and 
rants, and says he could beat me. 

However, we had a very agreeable evening. 
Baretti was in a very good humour, and Mr. 
Seward was extremely droll and entertaining. 
You know les agr emeus are all his own, when he 
chooses to call for them.] 

And now, my dear Susan, to relate the affairs 
of an evening, perhaps the most important of my 
life. To say that, is, I am sure, enough to interest 
you, my dearest girl, in all I can tell you of it. 

On Monday last, my father sent a note to Mrs. 
Cholmondeley, to propose our waiting on her the 
Wednesday following ; she accepted the proposal, 
and accordingly on Wednesday evening, my father, 
mother, and self went to Hertford Street. 

I should have told you that Mrs. Cholmondeley, 
when my father some time ago called on her, sent 
me a message, that if I would go to see her, I 
should not again be stared at or worried ; and she 
acknowledged that my visit at Sir Joshua's was a 
formidable one, and that I was watched the whole 
evening ; but that upon the whole, the company 
behaved extremely well, for they only ogled ! 

Well, we were received by Mrs. Cholmondeley 
with great politeness, and in a manner that showed 
she intended to entirely throw aside Madame 
Duval, and to conduct herself towards me in a 
new style. 

Mr. and the Misses Cholmondeley and Miss 


Forrest were with her ; but who else think you ? 
— why Mrs. Sheridan ! l I was absolutely charmed 
at the sight of her. I think her quite as beautiful 
as ever, and even more captivating ; for she has 
now a look of ease and happiness that animates 
her whole face. 

Miss Linley 2 was with her ; she is very hand- 
some, but nothing near her sister : the elegance 
of Mrs. Sheridan's beauty is unequalled by any I 
ever saw, except Mrs. Crewe. I was pleased with 
her in all respects. She is much more lively and 
agreeable than I had any idea of finding her ; she 
was very gay, and very unaffected, and totally free 
from airs of any kind. 

Miss Linley was very much out of spirits ; she 
did not speak three words the whole evening, and 
looked wholly unmoved at all that passed. Indeed 
she appeared to be heavy and inanimate. 

Mrs. Cholmondeley sat next me. She is deter- 
mined, I believe, to make me like her ; and she 
will, I believe, have full success ; for she is very 
clever, very entertaining, and very much unlike 
anybody else. 

The first subject started was the Opera, and all 
joined in the praise of Pacchierotti. Mrs. Sheridan 
declared she could not hear him without tears, 
and that he was the first Italian singer who ever 
affected her to such a degree. 

They then talked of the intended marriage of 
the Duke of Dorset with Miss Cumberland, and 
many ridiculous anecdotes were related. The con- 
versation naturally fell upon Mr. Cumberland, and 
he was finely cut up ! 

"What a man is that! " said Mrs. Cholmondeley : 
" I cannot bear him — so querulous, so dissatisfied, 

1 R. B. Sheridan's wife, rt4e Elizabeth Ann Linley, 1754-92, an accom- 
plished singer. At this date she had been married seven years. Reynolds 
had painted her as St. Cecilia in 1775. 

2 Mrs. Sheridan's sister, afterwards Mrs. Tickell. 


so determined to like nobody and nothing but 
himself ! " 

" What, Mr. Cumberland ? " exclaimed I. 

" Yes," answered she ; " I hope you don't like 
him ? " 

" I don't know him, ma'am. I have only seen 
him once, at Mrs. Ord's." 1 

" Oh, don't like him for your life ! I charge 
you not ! I hope you did not like his looks ? " 

" Why," quoth I, laughing, " I went prepared 
and determined to like him ; but, perhaps, when 
I see him next, I may go prepared for the 

[After this, Miss More was mentioned ; and I 
was asked what I thought of her ? 

" Don't be formal with me ; if you are, I shan't 
, ^ ^<J^ke you!" 

" I have no hope that you will anyway ! " 

" Oh, fie ! fie ! but as to Miss More— I don't 

like her at all ; that is, I detest her ! She does 

nothing but flatter and fawn ; and then she thinks 

ill of nobody. Don't you hate a person who 

/ thinks ill of nobody ? " 

My father then told what Dr. Johnson had 
said to her on the occasion of her praising him. 

" This rejoices, this does me good ! " cried she ; 
" I would have given the world to have heard that. 
Oh, there's no supporting the company of professed 
flatterers. She gives me such doses of it, that I 
cannot endure her ; but I always sit still and make 
no answer, but receive it as if I thought it my due : 
that is the only way to quiet her. She is really 
detestable. I hope, Miss Burney, you don't think 
I admire all geniuses ? The only person I flatter," 
continued she, " is Garrick ; and he likes it so 

1 Mrs. Ord, often mentioned hereafter, was the daughter of a surgeon 
named Dellingham, and a widow with means. She was one of Miss 
Burney's kindest friends (see Early Diary, 1898, ii. 139). 


much, that it pays one by the spirits it gives him. 
Other people that I like, I dare not flatter."] 

A rat-tat-tat-tat ensued, and the Earl of Har- 
court l was announced. When he had paid his 
compliments to Mrs. Cholmondeley — 

" I knew, ma'am," he said, " that I should find 
you at home." 

" I suppose, then, my lord," said she, " that you 
have seen Sir Joshua Reynolds ; for he is engaged 
to be here." 

" I have," answered his lordship ; " and heard 
from him that I should be sure to find you." 

And then he added some very fine compliment, 
but I have forgot it. 

" Oh, my lord," cried she, " you have the most 
discernment of anybody ! His lordship (turning 
another way) always says these things to me, and 
yet he never flatters." 

Lord Harcourt, speaking of the lady from 
whose house he was just come, said, 

"Mrs. Vesey is vastly agreeable, 2 but her fear 
of ceremony is really troublesome ; for her eager- 
ness to break a circle is such, that she insists upon 
everybody's sitting with their backs one to another ; 
that is, the chairs are drawn into little parties of 
three together, in a confused manner, all over the 

" Why, then," said my father, " they may have 
the pleasure of caballing and cutting up one 
another, even in the same room." 

" Oh, I like the notion of all things," cried Mrs. 
Cholmondeley, " I shall certainly adopt it ! " 

And then she drew her chair into the middle of 

1 George Simon, second Earl, 1736-1809. 

2 Mrs. Elizabeth Vesey, of "Blue-Stocking" celebrity, 1715-91, the 
second wife of Agmondesham Vesey, M.P., a member of the Literary 
Club. Between 1770 and 1784, Mrs. Vesey's literary parties (which 
Walpole called " Babels ") were much frequented. At this date she lived 
in Bolton Street, Piccadilly. 


our circle. Lord Harcourt turned his round, and 
his back to most of us, and my father did the same. 
You can't imagine a more absurd sight. 

Just then the door opened, and Mr. Sheridan * 

Was I not in luck ? Not that I believe the 
meeting was accidental ; but I had more wished to 
meet him and his wife than any people I know 

I could not endure my ridiculous situation, but 
replaced myself in an orderly manner immedi- 
ately. Mr. Sheridan stared at them all, and Mrs. 
Cholmondeley said she intended it as a hint for a 

Mr. Sheridan has a very fine figure, and a good 
though I don't think a handsome face. He is tall, 
and very upright, and his appearance and address 
are at once manly and fashionable, without the 
smallest tincture of foppery or modish graces. In 
short, I like him vastly, and think him every way 
worthy his beautiful companion. 

And let me tell you what I know will give you 
as much pleasure as it gave me, — that, by all I 
could observe in the course of the evening, and we 
stayed very late, they are extremely happy in each 
other : he evidently adores her, and she as evidently 
idolises him. The world has by no means done 
him justice. 

When he had paid his compliments to all his 
acquaintance, he went behind the sofa on which 
Mrs. Sheridan and Miss Cholmondeley were seated, 
and entered into earnest conversation with them. 

Upon Lord Harcourt's again paying Mrs. Cholm- 
ondeley some compliment, she said, 

" Well, my lord, after this I shall be quite sub- 
lime for some days ! I shan't descend into common 

1 Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1751-1816. He had just produced the 
School for Scandal at Drury Lane (1777). 


life till — till Saturday, and then I shall drop 
into the vulgar style — I shall be in the ma foi 

I do really believe she could not resist this, for 
she had seemed determined to be quiet. 

When next there was a rat-tat, Mrs. Cholmonde- 
ley and Lord Harcourt, and my father again, at the 
command of the former, moved into the middle 
of the room, and then Sir Joshua Reynolds and 
Dr. Warton 1 entered. 

No further company came. You may imagine 
there was a general roar at the breaking of the 
circle, and when they got into order, Mr. Sheridan 
seated himself in the place Mrs. Cholmondeley had 
left, between my father and myself. 

And now I must tell you a little conversation 
which I did not hear myself till I came home ; it 
was between Mr. Sheridan and my father. 

"Dr. Burney," cried the former, "have you no 
older daughters ? Can this possibly be the authoress 
of Evelina ? " 

And then he said abundance of fine things, and 
begged my father to introduce him to me. 

" Why, it will be a very formidable thing to 
her/' answered he, "to be introduced to you." 

"Well then, by and by," returned he. 

Some time after this, my eyes happening to 
meet his, he waived the ceremony of introduction, 
and in a low voice said, 

"I have been telling Dr. Burney that I have 
long expected to see in Miss Burney a lady of the 
gravest appearance, with the quickest parts." 

I was never much more astonished than at this 
unexpected address, as among all my numerous 
puffers the name of Sheridan has never reached 

1 Joseph Warton, D.D., 1722-1800, author of the Essay on the Genius 
and Writings of Pope, 1756-82, and Head Master of Winchester, where 
Fanny's brother Dick was at school. 


me, and I did really imagine he had never deigned 
to look at my trash. 

Of course I could make no verbal answer, and 
he proceeded then to speak of Evelina in terms of 
the highest praise ; but I was in such a ferment 
from surprise (not to say pleasure), that I have no 
recollection of his expressions. I only remember 
telling him that I was much amazed he had spared 
time to read it, and that he repeatedly called it a 
most surprising book ; and sometime after he added, 
"But I hope, Miss Burney, you don't intend to 
throw away your pen ? " 

" You should take care, sir," said I, " what you 
say : for you know not what weight it may have." 

He wished it might have any, he said, and soon 
after turned again to my father. 

I protest, since the approbation of the Streatham- 
ites, I have met with none so flattering to me as 
this of Mr. Sheridan, and so very unexpected. 

[Sir Joshua then came up to me, and after some 
general conversation said, 

" Pray, do you know anything of the Sylph ? " 

This is a novel, lately advertised by Lowndes. 
Mr. Hutton has already been with me to inquire if 
it was mine. 

"No," quoth I. 

" Don't you, upon your honour ? " 

" Upon my honour ? — did you suspect me ? " 

" Why, a friend of mine sent for it upon 

" So did we," said Miss Linley, " but I did not 
suspect after I had read it." 

" What is the reason," said Sir Joshua, " that 
Lowndes always advertises it with Evelina ? " 

" Indeed I know nothing about it." 

"Ma'am," cried Mr. Sheridan, turning to me 
abruptly, "you should send and order him not, — 
it is a take-in, and ought to be forbid " ; and with 


great vehemence he added, " it is a most impudent 
thing in that fellow ! " 

I assure you I took it quite kind in him to give 
me this advice. By the way, Mrs. Thrale has sent 
me a message to the same purpose. 1 ] 

About this time Mrs. Cholmondeley was making 
much sport, by wishing for an acrostic on her name. 
She said she had several times begged for one in 
vain, and began to entertain thoughts of writing 
one herself. 

" For," said she, " I am very famous for my 
rhymes, though I never made a line of poetry in 
my life." 

" An acrostic on your name," said Mr. Sheridan, 
" would be a formidable task ; it must be so long 
that I think it should be divided into cantos." 

" Miss Burney," cried Sir Joshua, who was now 
reseated, " are not you a writer of verses ?" 

F. B.— No, sir. 

Mrs. Choi. — Oh, don't believe her. I have made 
a resolution not to believe anything she says. 

Mr. Sheridan. — I think a lady should not write 
verses till she is past receiving them. 

Mrs. Choi, (rising and stalking majestically 
towards him). — Mr. Sheridan, pray, sir, what may 
you mean by this insinuation ; did I not say I writ 
verses ? 

Mr. Sheridan. — Oh, but you 

Mrs. Choi. — Say no more, sir ! You have made 

1 The following was accordingly written to Lowndes : " Dr. Burney 
sends his Compts. to Mr. Lowndes and acquaints him that by the 
manner in which Evelina has for some time been advertised in Company 
with the Sylph, it has generally been imagined that both these Novels have 
been written by one and the same Author. Now, as Mr. Lowndes must 
be certain that they are the works of different authors, and as accident 
has now made the Author of Evelina pretty generally known, who by no 
means wishes to rob the writer of the Sylph of whatever praise may be his 
due, Dr. B. begs Mr. L. will not only cease to advertise these books in 
an equivocal way, but inform the Public in some clear and decisive manner 
that they are the work of two different writers. St. Martin's Street, 
January 27 [1779] " (MS. in Archdeacon Burney's possession). 



your meaning but too plain already. There now, 
I think that's a speech for a tragedy ! 

Some time after, Sir Joshua returning to his 
standing - place, entered into confab with Miss 
Linley and your slave, upon various matters, during 
which Mr. Sheridan, joining us, said, 

" Sir Joshua, I have been telling Miss Burney 
that she must not suffer her pen to lie idle — ought 

Sir Joshua. — No, indeed, ought she not. 

Mr. Sheridan. — Do you then, Sir Joshua, per- 
suade her. But perhaps you have begun some- 
thing ? May we ask ? Will you answer a question 
candidly ? 

F. B. — I don't know, but as candidly as Mrs. 
Candour 1 I think I certainly shall. 

Mr. Sheridan. — What then are you about now ? 

F. B. — Why, twirling my fan, I think ! 

Mr. Sheridan. — No, no ; but what are you about 
at home? However, it is not a fair question, so 
I won't press it. 

Yet he looked very inquisitive ; but I was glad 
to get off without any downright answer. 

Sir Joshua. — Anything in the dialogue way, I 
think, she must succeed in ; and I am sure invention 
will not be wanting. 

Mr. Sheridan. — No, indeed ; I think, and say, 
she should write a comedy. 

Sir Joshua. — I am sure I think so ; and hope 
she will. 

I could only answer by incredulous exclamations. 

"Consider," continued Sir Joshua, "you have 
already had all the applause and fame you can have 
given you in the closet ; but the acclamation of a 
theatre will be new to you." 

And then he put down his trumpet, and began 
a violent clapping of his hands. 

1 In the School for Scandal. 


I actually shook from head to foot ! I felt 
myself already in Drury Lane, amidst the hubbub 
of a first night. 

" Oh no ! " cried I, " there may be a noise, but 
it will be just the reverse." And I returned his 
salute with a hissing. 

Mr. Sheridan joined Sir Joshua very warmly. 

" Oh, sir ! " cried I, " you should not run on so, — 
you don't know what mischief you may do ! " 

Mr. Sheridan. — I wish I may — I shall be very 
glad to be accessory. 

Sir Joshua. — She has, certainly, something of a 
knack at characters ; — where she got it, I don't 
know, — and how she got it, I can't imagine ; but 
she certainly has it. And to throw it away is 

Mr. Sheridan. — Oh, she won't, — she will write 
a comedy, — she has promised me she will ! 

F. B. — Oh ! — if you both run on in this manner, 
I shall 

I was going to say get under the chair, but Mr. 
Sheridan, interrupting me with a laugh, said, 

" Set about one ? very well, that's right ! " 

" Ay," cried Sir Joshua, " that's very right. And 
you (to Mr. Sheridan) would take anything of hers, 
would you not ? — unsight, unseen ? " 

What a point - blank question ! who but Sir 
Joshua would have ventured it ! 

"Yes," answered Mr. Sheridan, with quickness, 
" and make her a bow and my best thanks into the 

Now, my dear Susy, tell me, did you ever hear 
the fellow to such a speech as this ! — it was all I 
could do to sit it. 

" Mr. Sheridan," I exclaimed, " are you not 
mocking me ? " 

" No, upon my honour ! this is what I have 
meditated to say to you the first time I should 
have the pleasure of seeing you." 


To be sure, as Mrs. Thrale says, if folks are to 
be spoilt, there is nothing in the world so pleasant 
as spoiling ! But I was never so much astonished, 
and seldom have been so much delighted, as by 
this attack of Mr. Sheridan. Afterwards he took 
my father aside, and formally repeated his opinion 
that I should write for the stage, and his desire to 
see my play, — with encomiums the most flattering 
of Evelina. 

And now, my dear Susy, if I should attempt 
the stage, I think I may be fairly acquitted of 
presumption, and however I may fail, that I was 
strongly pressed to try by Mrs. Thrale, and by 
Mr. Sheridan, the most successful and powerful of 
all dramatic living authors, will abundantly excuse 
my temerity. 

In short, — this evening seems to have been 
decisive ; my many and increasing scruples all gave 
way to encouragement so warm, from so experi- 
enced a judge, who is himself interested in not 
making such a request par complaisance. Some 
time after, Sir Joshua beckoned to Dr. Warton to 
approach us, and said, 

" Give me leave, Miss Burney, to introduce Dr. 
Warton to you." 

We both made our reverences, and then Sir 
Joshua, who was now quite facetious, said, 

"Come, Dr. Warton, now give Miss Burney 
your opinion of — something, — tell her what is your 
opinion of — a certain book." 

This was very provoking of Sir Joshua, and 
Dr. Warton seemed as much embarrassed as 
myself; but, after a little hesitation, he very 
politely said, 

" I have no opinion to give — I can only join in 
the voice of the public." 

I have no more time nor room to go on, or I 


could write you a folio of the conversation at 
supper, when everybody was in spirits, and a 
thousand good things were said : I sat between 
Sir Joshua and Miss Linley. Mrs. Cholmondeley 
addressed almost all her bons mots and drolleries 
to me, and was flattering in her distinction to 
a degree ; yet did not, as at our first meeting, 
overpower me. 



Diary resumed — Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson — Sir Philip Clerke 
— Whigs and Tories — A political discussion — Liberality of 
Dr. Johnson — Murphy, the dramatist — He urges Miss 
Burney to write a comedy — Table-talk between Johnson, 
Murphy, Mrs. Thrale, and Miss Burney — Country neighbours 
— Goldsmith — Tears at will — Letter from Miss Burney to 
Mr. Crisp — The Maecenases of the day — Diary resumed — 
Visit to Brighton — Brighton society in 1779 — A grand 
dinner-party — A character — The Bishop of Peterborough — 
An evening party — Wealth and ennui — Queen Dido — 
News from home — An order from headquarters — Military 
discipline — Captain Crop — Dr. Delap — Mr. Murphy — Cross- 
examination — The Bishop of Winchester — Return to 
Streatham — Illness of Mr. Thrale — Sir Philip Clerke — 
Evelina — A learned lady — Table-talk — Tears at will — The 
man of indifference — Taste in dress — Raillery — Affectation — 
Candide — Pococurante — Dr. Middleton — A weeping beauty 
— Table-talk — Intended journey to Spa — Projected comedy 
— A scene — Ennui — Sir Richard Jebb — Lady Anne Lindsay 
— Learned ladies — Dr. Johnson. 

Streatham, February. — I have been here so 
long, my dearest Susan, without writing a word, 
that now I hardly know where or how to begin. 
But I will try to draw up a concise account of 
what has passed for this last fortnight, and then 
endeavour to be more minute. 

Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson vied with each 
other in the kindness of their reception of me. 
Mr. Thrale was, as usual at first, cold and 




quiet, but soon, as usual also, warmed into 

The next day Sir Philip Jennings Clerke came. 1 
He is not at all a man of letters, but extremely 
well-bred, nay, elegant, in his manners, and 
sensible and agreeable in his conversation. He is 
a professed minority man, and very active and 
zealous in the opposition. He had, when I came, 
a bill in agitation concerning contractors — too 
long a matter to explain upon paper — but which 
was levelled against bribery and corruption in the 
ministry, and which he was to make a motion 
upon in the House of Commons the next week. 

Men of such different principles as Dr. 
Johnson and Sir Philip, you may imagine, can- 
not have much sympathy or cordiality in their 
political debates ; however, the very superior 
abilities of the former, and the remarkable good 
breeding of the latter, have kept both upon good 
terms ; though they have had several arguments, 
in which each has exerted his utmost force for 

The heads of one of their debates I must try 
to remember, because I should be sorry to forget. 
Sir Philip explained his bill ; Dr. Johnson at 
first scoffed it ; Mr. Thrale betted a guinea the 
motion would not pass, and Sir Philip, that he 
should divide a hundred and fifty upon it. 

[I am afraid, my dear Susan, you already 
tremble at this political commencement, but I 
will soon have done, for I know your taste too 
well to enlarge upon this theme.] 

Sir Philip, addressing himself to Mrs. Thrale, 

1 He was M.P. for Totnes, and, according to Boswell, who met him 
later at Thrale's, a highly picturesque personage. " Sir Philip had the 
appearance of a gentleman of ancient family, well advanced in life. He 
wore his own white hair in a bag of goodly size, a black velvet coat, with 
an embroidered waistcoat, and very rich laced ruffles. . . . * Ah, Sir 
(said Johnson), ancient ruffles and modern principles do not agree ' " 
(Hill's Boswell, 1887, iv. pp. 80-81). 


hoped she would not suffer the Tories to warp 
her judgment, and told me he hoped my father 
had not tainted my principles ; and then he 
further explained his bill, and indeed made it 
appear so equitable, that Mrs. Thrale gave in to 
it, and wished her husband to vote for it. He 
still hung back; but, to our general surprise, Dr. 
Johnson, having made more particular inquiries 
into its merits, first softened towards it, and then 
declared it a very rational and fair bill, and 
joined with Mrs. Thrale in soliciting Mr. Thrale' s 

Sir Philip was, and with very good reason, quite 
delighted. He opened upon politics more amply, 
and freely declared his opinions, which were so 
strongly against the Government, and so much 
bordering upon the Republican principles, that 
Dr. Johnson suddenly took fire ; he called back 
his recantation, begged Mr. Thrale not to vote for 
Sir Philip's bill, and grew very animated against 
his antagonist. 

"The bill," said he, "ought to be opposed by 
all honest men ! in itself, and considered simply, 
it is equitable, and I would forward it ; but when 
we find what a faction it is to support and 
encourage, it ought not to be listened to. All 
men should oppose it who do not wish well to 
sedition ! " 

These, and several other expressions yet more 
strong, he made use of; and had Sir Philip had 
less unalterable politeness, I believe they would 
have had a vehement quarrel. He maintained his 
ground, however, with calmness and steadiness, 
though he had neither argument nor wit at all 
equal to such an opponent. 

Dr. Johnson pursued him with unabating 
vigour and dexterity, and at length, though he 
could not convince, he so entirely baffled him, 


that Sir Philip was self- compelled to be quiet — 
which, with a very good grace, he confessed. 

Dr. Johnson then, recollecting himself, and 
thinking, as he owned afterwards, that the dispute 
grew too serious, with a skill all his own, suddenly 
and unexpectedly turned it to burlesque ; and 
taking Sir Philip by the hand at the moment we 
arose after supper, and were separating for the 

"Sir Philip," said he, "you are too liberal a 
man for the party to which you belong ; I shall 
have much pride in the honour of converting you ; 
for I really believe, if you were not spoiled by 
bad company, the spirit of faction would not 
have possessed you. Go, then, sir, to the House, 
but make not your motion ! Give up your Bill, 
and surprise the world by turning to the side of 
truth and reason. Rise, sir, when they least 
expect you, and address your fellow-patriots to 
this purpose : — Gentlemen, I have, for many a 
weary day, been deceived and seduced by you. 
I have now opened my eyes ; I see that you are 
all scoundrels — the subversion of all government 
is your aim. Gentlemen, I will no longer herd 
among rascals in whose infamy my name and 
character must be included. I therefore re- 
nounce you all, gentlemen, as you deserve to be 

Then, shaking his hand heartily, he added, 

" Go, sir, go to bed ; meditate upon this 
recantation, and rise in the morning a more honest 
man than you laid down." 1 

Now I must try to be rather more minute. On 
Thursday, while my dear father was here, who 

1 Mr. Thrale must have won his bet. " March 10 . . . Sir Ph. J. CI — he 
brought forward the bill for excluding contractors with government from 
sitting in the house ; which was rejected by a majority of 41 " (Gentleman's 
Magazine, December 1779, p. 575). But see post, April 24, 1782. 


should be announced but Mr. Murphy ; the man 
of all other strangers to me whom I most longed 
to see. 

He is tall and well made, has a very gentleman- 
like appearance, and a quietness of manner upon 
his first address that, to me, is very pleasing. His 
face looks sensible, and his deportment is perfectly 
easy and polite. 

When he had been welcomed by Mrs. Thrale, 
and had gone through the reception-salutations of 
Dr. Johnson and my father, Mrs. Thrale, advancing 
to me, said, 

"But here is a lady I must introduce to you, 
Mr. Murphy : here is another F. B." 

" Indeed ! " cried he, taking my hand ; " is this 
a sister of Miss Brown's ? " 

" No, no ; this is Miss Burney." 

" What ! " cried he, staring, " is this — is this — 
this is not the lady that — that " 

" Yes, but it is," answered she, laughing. 

" No, you don't say so ? You don't mean the 
lady that " 

" Yes, yes, I do ; no less a lady, I assure you." 

He then said he was very glad of the honour of 
seeing me ; and I sneaked away. 

When we came upstairs, Mrs. Thrale charged 
me to make myself agreeable to Mr. Murphy. 

" He may be of use to you, in what I am most 
eager for — your writing a play : he knows stage 
business so well ; and if you will but take a fancy 
to one another, he may be more able to serve 
you than all of us put together. My ambition 
is that Johnson should write your prologue, 
and Murphy your epilogue ; then I shall be quite 

At tea-time, when I went into the library, I 
found Dr. Johnson reading, and Mrs. Thrale in 
close conference with Mr. Murphy. 


"It is well, Miss Burney," said the latter, 
"that you have come, for we were abusing you 
most vilely ; we were in the very act of pulling 
you to pieces." 

" Don't you think her very like her father ? " 
said Mrs. Thrale. 

" Yes : but what a sad man is Dr. Burney for 
running away so ! how long had he been here ? " 

Mrs. Thrale. — Oh, but an hour or two. I often 
say Dr. Burney is the most of a male coquet 
of any man I know ; for he only gives one enough 
of his company to excite a desire for more. 

Mr. Murphy. — Dr. Burney is, indeed, a most 
extraordinary man ; I think I don't know such 
another : he is at home upon all subjects, and 
upon all so agreeable ! he is a wonderful man ! " 

And now let me stop this conversation, to go 
back to a similar one with Dr. Johnson, who, a 
few days since, when Mrs. Thrale was singing our 
father's praise, used this expression : 

" I love Burney : my heart goes out to meet 
him ! " 

" He is not ungrateful, sir," cried I ; "for most 
heartily does he love you." 

"Does he, madam ? I am surprised at that." 

"Why, sir? why should you have doubted 

"Because, madam, Dr. Burney is a man for 
all the world to love : it is but natural to love 

I could almost have cried with delight at this 
cordial, unlaboured eloge. Another time, he 

" I much question if there is, in the world, such 
another man as Dr. Burney." 

But to return to the tea-table. 

" If I," said Mr. Murphy, looking very archly, 
" had written a certain book — a book I won't name, 


but a book I have lately read — I would next write 
a comedy." 

" Good," cried Mrs. Thrale, colouring with plea- 
sure ; 1 "do you think so too ? " 

" Yes, indeed ; I thought so while I was reading 
it ; it struck me repeatedly." 

" Don't look at me, Miss Burney," cried Mrs. 
Thrale ; " for this is no doing of mine, Well, I 
do wonder what Miss Burney will do twenty years 
hence, when she can blush no more ; for now she 
can never bear the name of her book." 

Mr. Murphy. — Nay, I name no book; at least 
no author : how can I, for I don't know the author ; 
there is no name given to it : I only say, whoever 
wrote that book ought to write a comedy. Dr. 
Johnson might write it for aught I know. 

F. B.— Oh yes ! 

Mr. Murphy. — Nay, I have often told him he 
does not know his own strength, or he would write 
a comedy ; and so I think. 

Dr. Johnson (laughing). — Suppose Burney and 
I begin together ? 

Mr. Murphy. — Ah, I wish you would ! I wish 
you would Beaumont and Fletcher us ! 

F. B. — My father asked me, this morning, how 
my head stood. If he should have asked me this 
evening, I don't know what answer I must have 

Mr. Murphy. — I have no wish to turn anybody's 
head : I speak what I really think ; — comedy is the 
forte of that book. I laughed over it most violently : 
and if the author — I won't say who (all the time 
looking away from me) — will write a comedy, I 
will most readily, and with great pleasure, give any 
advice or assistance in my power. 

1 It is difficult to imagine Mrs. Thrale, who habitually over-rouged, 
contriving to colour with pleasure (Hay ward's Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. 
Piozzi (Thrale), 1861, i. 43). 


" Well, now you are a sweet man ! " cried Mrs. 
Thrale, who looked ready to kiss him. " Did not 
I tell you, Miss Burney, that Mr. Murphy was the 
man ? " 

Mr. Murphy. — All I can do, I shall be very 
happy to do ; and at least, I will undertake to say 
I can tell what the sovereigns of the upper gallery 
will bear : for they are the most formidable part 
of an audience. I have had so much experience in 
this sort of work, that I believe I can always tell 
what will be hissed at least. And if Miss Burney 
will write, and will show me 

Dr. Johnson. — Come, come, have done with this 
now ; why should you overpower her ? Let's have 
no more of it. I don't mean to dissent from what 
you say ; I think well of it, and approve of it ; but 
you have said enough of it. 

Mr. Murphy, who equally loves and reverences 
Dr. Johnson, instantly changed the subject. 

The rest of the evening was delightful. Mr. 
Murphy told abundance of most excellent stories ; 
Dr. Johnson was in exceeding good humour ; and 
Mrs. Thrale all cheerfulness and sweetness. 

For my part, in spite of her injunctions, I could 
not speak ; I was in a kind of consternation. Mr. 
Murphy's speeches, flattering as they were, made 
me tremble ; for I cannot get out of my head the 
idea of disgracing so many people. 

After supper, Dr. Johnson turned the discourse 
upon silent folks — whether by way of reflection and 
reproof, or by accident, I know not ; but I do know 
he is provoked with me for not talking more ; and 
I was afraid he was seriously provoked ; but, a 
little while ago, I went into the music -room, 
where he was tete-a-tete with Mrs. Thrale, and 
calling me to him, he took my hand, and made 
me sit next him, in a manner that seemed truly 


" Sir," cried I, " I was much afraid I was going 
out of your favour ! " 

" Why so ? what should make you think so ? " 

" Why, I don't know — my silence, I believe. I 
began to fear you would give me up." 

" No, my darling ! — my dear little Burney, no. 
When I give you up " 

" What then, sir ? " cried Mrs. Thrale. 

"Why, I don't know; for whoever could give 
her up would deserve worse than I can say ; I know 
not what would be bad enough." 

Streatham, Tuesday. — On my return hither, 
my dearest Susy, Mrs. Thrale received Dick with 
her usual kindness, and in the evening we went to 
visit the P 's. 

Miss Thrale, Miss P , and myself, after tea, 

retired to have some talk among ourselves, which 
of all things in the world, is most stupid with these 

sort of misses (I mean the P 's, not Miss Thrale), 

and we took Dick with us, to make sport. 

Dick, proud of the office, played the buffoon 
extremely well, and our laughs reaching to the 

company-room, we were followed by a Mr. D , 

a poor half-witted clergyman. Dick played his 
tricks over again, and, mad with spirits and the 
applause of the young ladies, when he had done, 
he clapt Mr. D on the back, and said, 

" Come, sir, now you do something to divert 
the ladies." 

" No, sir, no ; I really can't," answered he. 

"What, sir!" cried Dick, "not if the ladies 
request you ? why, then you'll never do for Mr. 
Smith ! You a'n't half so clever as Mr. Smith ; 
and I'm sure you'll never be a Sir Clement 
Willoughby ! " x 

Did you ever hear the like ? I was forced to 

1 Sir Clement Willoughby is the " agreeable rake " of Evelina. 


turn myself quite away, and poor Mr. D was 

thunderstruck at the boy's assurance. When he 
recovered himself, he said to me, 

" Ma'am, this is a very fine young gentleman — 
pray what book is he in ? " 

" Do you mean at school, sir ? " 

" No ; I mean what books does he study at home 
besides his grammar ? " 

" Indeed I don't know ; you must examine him." 

" No ? Don't you know Latin, ma'am ? " 

" No, indeed ; not at all ! " 

" Really ? Well, I had heard you did." 

I wonder, my dear Susy, what next will be said 
of me ! 

Yesterday, at night, I told Dr. Johnson the 
inquiry, and added that I attributed it to my being 
at Streatham, and supposed the folks took it for 
granted nobody would be admitted there without 
knowing Latin, at least. 

"No, my dear, no," answered he; "the man 
thought it because you have written a book — he 
concluded that a book could not be written by one 
who knew no Latin. And it is strange that it 
should — but, perhaps you do know it — for your 
shyness, and slyness, and pretending to know 
nothing, never took me in, whatever you may do 
with others. I always knew you for a toadling." 

At our usual time of absconding, he would not 
let us go, and was in high good humour ; and when, 
at last, Mrs. Thrale absolutely refused to stay any 
longer, he took me by the hand, and said, 

" Don't you mind her, my little Burney ; do 
you stay whether she will or not." 

So away went Mrs. Thrale, and left us to a 

Now I had been considering that perhaps I ought 
to speak to him of my new castle, 1 lest hereafter 

1 Query — in the air. 



he should suspect that I preferred the counsel 
of Mr. Murphy. I therefore determined to take 
this opportunity, and, after some general nothings, 
I asked if he would permit me to take a great 
liberty with him ? 

He assented with the most encouraging smile. 
And then I said, 

" I believe, sir, you heard part of what passed 
between Mr. Murphy and me the other evening, 
concerning — a — a comedy. Now, if I should 
make such an attempt, would you be so good as 
to allow me, any time before Michaelmas, to put 
it in the coach, for you to look over as you go to 
town ? " 

" To be sure, my dear ! — What, have you begun 
a comedy then ? " x 

I told him how the affair stood. He then gave 
me advice which just accorded with my wishes, 
viz., not to make known that I had any such 
intention ; to keep my own counsel ; not to 
whisper even the name of it ; to raise no expecta- 
tions, which were always prejudicial, and, finally, 
to have it performed while the town knew nothing 
of whose it was. 

I readily assured him of my hearty concurrence 
in his opinion ; but he somewhat distressed me 
when I told him that Mr. Murphy must be in 
my confidence, as he had offered his services, by 
desiring he might be the last to see it. 

What I shall do, I know not, for he has, him- 
self, begged to be the first. Mrs. Thrale, however, 
shall guide me between them. He spoke highly 
of Mr. Murphy, too, for he really loves him. He 
said he would not have it in the coach, but that I 
should read it to him ; however, I could sooner 
drown or hang ! 

When I would have offered some apology for 

1 See ante, p. 90. 


the attempt, he stopped me, and desired I would 
never make any. 

" For," said he, " if it succeeds, it makes its own 
apology, if not " 

" If not," quoth I, " I cannot do worse than 
Dr. Goldsmith, when his play failed, — go home 
and cry ! " * 

He laughed, but told me, repeatedly (I mean 
twice, which, for him, is very remarkable) that I 
might depend upon all the service in his power ; 
and, he added, it would be well to make Murphy 
the last judge, "for he knows the stage," he said, 
" and I am quite ignorant of it." 

Afterwards, grasping my hand with the most 
affectionate warmth, he said, 

" I wish you success ! I wish you well ! my dear 
little Burney ! " 

When, at length, I told him I could stay no 
longer, and bid him good-night, he said, " There is 
none like you, my dear little Burney ! there is none 
like you ! — good-night, my darling ! ,; 

[You, my dearest Susy, who know so well how 
proud I am of his kindness, will, for that reason, 
think it not ill-bestowed ; but I very often and 
very unaffectedly wonder at it myself.] 

Yesterday morning Miss Brown made a visit 
here. Mrs. Thrale, unluckily, was gone to town. 
But I am become quite intimate with her. She is 
a most good-humoured, frank, unaffected, sociable 
girl, and I like her very much. She stayed, I 
believe, three hours. We had much talk of Mr. 
Murphy, whom she adores, and whose avowed 
preference of her to Miss Streatfield has quite 
won her heart. We also talked much of Dr. 
Johnson, and she confessed to me that both she 

1 This is apparently a reference to the story told by Mrs. Piozzi of 
Goldsmith's behaviour after the first night of the Good Natur'd Man 
(Hill's Johnsonian Miscellanies, 1897, i. 311 ; Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes). 


and Miss S. S. were in fevers in his presence, from 

"But," said she, "a lady of my acquaintance 
asked me, some time ago, if I knew you ; I said 
no, for then I had not had the honour of seeing 
you. 'Well,' said she, 'but I hear Dr. Johnson 
is quite devoted to her ; they say that he is grown 
quite polite, and waits upon her, and gets her her 
chair, and her tea, and pays her compliments from 
morning to night.' I was quite glad to hear it, for 
we agreed it would quite harmonise him." 

I forgot to mention that, when I told Dr. 
Johnson Mr. Murphy's kind offer of examining my 
plan, and the several rules he gave me, and owned 
that I had already gone too far to avail myself 
of his obliging intention, he said, " Never mind, 
my dear, — ah! you'll do without, — you want no 

Tuesday Night. — Before they went, Miss S treat- 
field came. Mrs. Thrale prevailed upon her to 
stay till the next day. 

I find her a very amiable girl, and extremely 
handsome ; not so wise as I expected, but very 
well ; however, had she not chanced to have had so 
uncommon an education, with respect to literature 
or learning, I believe she would not have made 
her way among the wits by the force of her natural 

Mr. Seward, you know, told me that she had 
tears at command, and I begin to think so too, for 
when Mrs. Thrale, who had previously told me I 
should see her cry, began coaxing her to stay, and 
saying " If you go, I shall know you don't love me 
so well as Lady Gresham," — she did cry, not loud 
indeed, nor much, but the tears came into her eyes, 
and rolled down her fine cheeks. 

" Come hither, Miss Burney," cried Mrs. Thrale, 
" come and see Miss Streatfleld cry ! " 


I thought it a mere badinage. I went to them, 
but when I saw real tears, I was shocked, and 
saying, "No, I won't look at her," ran away 
frightened, lest she should think I laughed at her, 
which Mrs. Thrale did so openly, that, as I told 
her, had she served me so, I should have been 
affronted with her ever after. 

Miss Streatfleld, however, whether from a 
sweetness not to be ruffled, or from not perceiving 
there was any room for taking offence, gently wiped 
her eyes, and was perfectly composed ! 

From Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

StreathaMj March 1779. 

The kindness and honours I meet with from this 
charming family are greater than I can mention ; 
sweet Mrs. Thrale hardly suffers me to leave her 
a moment ; and Dr. Johnson is another Daddy 
Crisp to me, for he has a partial goodness to your 
Fannikin, that has made him sink the comparative 
shortness of our acquaintance, and treat and think 
of me as one who had long laid claim to him. 

If you knew these two you would love them, 
or I don't know you so well as I think I do. Dr. "1 
Johnson has more fun, and comical humour, and 
love of nonsense about him, than almost anybody I 
ever saw : I mean when with those he likes ; for 
otherwise, he can be as severe and as bitter as 
report relates him. Mrs. Thrale has all that gaiety 
of disposition and lightness of heart, which com- 
monly belong to fifteen. We are, therefore, merry 
enough, and I am frequently seized with the same 
tittering and ridiculous fits as those with which 
I have so often amazed and amused poor Kitty 

One thing let me not omit of this charming 


woman, which I believe will weigh with you in her 
favour ; her political doctrine is so exactly like 
yours, that it is never started but I exclaim, " Dear 
ma'am, if my Daddy Crisp was here, I believe 
between you, you would croak me mad ! " And 
this sympathy of horrible foresight not a little con- 
tributes to incline her to believe the other parts 
of speech with which I regale her concerning you. 
She wishes very much to know you, and I am sure 
you would hit it off comfortably ; but I told her 
what a vile taste you had for shunning all new 
acquaintance, and shirking almost all your old ones. 
That I may never be among the latter, heartily 
hopes my dear daddy's ever affectionate and 
obliged, F. B. 

Best love to Mrs. Ham * and dear Kitty. 

The Same to the Same 

Streatham, May 4, 1779. 

Oh ! my dear Daddy — Ah ! — alas ! — woe is 
me ! — In what terms may I venture to approach 
you ? I don't know, but the more I think of it, 
the more guilty I feel. I have a great mind, 
instead of tormenting you with apologies, and 
worrying myself with devising them, to tell you 
the plain, honest, literal truth. Indeed, I have no 
other way any chance of obtaining your forgiveness 
for my long silence. Honestly, then, my time has, 
ever since the receipt of your most excellent letter, 
been not merely occupied, but burthened, with 
much employment. I have lived almost wholly at 
Streatham, and the little time I have spent at 
home, has been divided between indispensable 
engagements, and preparations for returning hither. 

1 Mrs. Hamilton. See Editor's Introduction, p. 11. 


But you will say there is no occasion to exert 
much honesty in owning this much ; therefore now 
to the secret of the disposal of my private hours. 
The long and the short is, I have devoted them to 
writing, and I have finished a play. 1 I must entreat 
you, my dearest daddy, to keep this communication 
to yourself, or, at least, if you own it to Kitty, 
whose long friendship for me I am sure deserves 
my confidence, make her vow not to reveal it to 
anybody whatsoever. 

This is no capricious request, as I will explain ; 
my own secret inclination leads me forcibly and 
involuntarily to desire concealment ; but that is 
not all, for Dr. Johnson 2 himself enjoins it; he 
says, that nothing can do so much mischief to a 
dramatic work as previous expectation, and that 
my wisest way will be to endeavour to have it per- 
formed before it is known, except to the managers, 
to be written. 

I am extremely sorry you decline my three 
characters at a time, as I have nothing better to 
offer you. Journal I have kept none, nor had any 
time for such sort of writing. In my absences 
from Susan, I have, indeed, occasionally made 
essays in that style ; but they are very imperfect, 
uncertain, and abrupt. However, such sketches as 
she has had I will borrow of her for you, if, after all 
my transgression, you are not sick both of me and 
my affairs. 

The paragraph you saw in the papers concerning 
a lady's first attempt in the dramatic walk, meant 
a Miss Richardson, of Tower Hill, who has just 
brought out a play called The Double Deception* 

I wish with all my heart it was in my power to 
take a trip to Chessington for a few days ; I have 

1 The Witlings, see post, July 1779. 2 See ante, p. 208. 

3 The Double Deception, 1779, a comedy, was produced at Drury Lane, 
ran four nights, and was not printed. 


so many things I long to talk over, and I wish so 
sincerely to see you again. The homely home, as 
you call it, will never be forgotten while I keep 
aloof from my last home. 

But I forgot to mention, that another and a 
very great reason for secrecy in regard to my new 
attempt, is what you have yourself mentioned — 
avoiding the interference of the various Maecenases 
who would expect to be consulted. Of these, I 
could not confide in one without disobliging all the 
rest ; and I could not confide in all, without having 
the play read all over the town before it is acted. 
Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Greville, Mrs. Crewe, Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, Mrs. Cholmondeley, and many 
inferior etc.'s, think they have an equal claim, one 
with the other, to my confidence : and the conse- 
quence of it all would be, that, instead of having 
it, in your words, all my own, and all of a piece, 
everybody would have a stroke at it, and it would 
become a mere patchwork of all my acquaintance. 
The only way to avoid this, is to keep to myself 
that such a thing exists. Those to whom I have 
owned it seem all of the same opinion, and I am 
resolutely determined to own it no more. 

Evelina continues to sell in a most wonderful 
manner ; a fourth edition is preparing, with cuts, 
designed by Mortimer just before he died, and 
executed by Hall and Bartolozzi. 1 

Journal resumed 

Streatham, Friday, May. — Once more, my 
dearest Susy, I will attempt journalising, and 

1 John Hamilton Mortimer, A.R.A., d. February 4, 1779. His draw- 
ings, three in number, and still existent, were engraved by Bartolozzi, 
Hall, and Walker. The plates are dated November 24, 1779, after which 
time the fourth edition must have appeared. Lowndes, the publisher, 
gave £73 for them, being £43 more than he had given for the book they 

Frontispiece to Vol. III. of Evelina, 1779 


endeavour, according to my promise, to keep up 
something of the kind during our absence, however 
brief and curtailed. 

[We took up Sir Philip Jennings Clerke at 
some coffee-house in our way, and two armed men 
met us at the Piccadilly turnpike, and, so guarded, 
we got there very safe, but not till past one in the 
morning. Sir Philip left us the next day at noon, 
but we shall see him again when we return from 
Brighthelmstone. ] 

To - day, while Mrs. Thrale was chatting with 
me in my room, we saw Mr. Murphy drive into 
the courtyard. Downstairs flew Mrs. Thrale, but, 
in a few minutes, up she flew again, crying, 

" Mr. Murphy is crazy for your play — he won't 
let me rest for it — do pray let me run away with 
the first act." 

Little as I like to have it seen in this unfinished 
state, she was too urgent to be resisted, so off she 
made with it. 

I did not show my phiz till I was summoned to 
dinner. Mr. Murphy, probably out of flummery, 
made us wait some minutes, and, when he did 
come, said, 

" I had much ado not to keep you all longer, 
for I could hardly get away from some new 
acquaintances I was just making." 

As he could not stay to sleep here, he had only 
time, after dinner, to finish the first act. He was 
pleased to commend it very liberally ; he has 
pointed out two places where he thinks I might 
enlarge, but has not criticised one word ; on the 
contrary, the dialogue he has honoured with high 

So far is well : what may be yet to come, I 
know not. Further particulars I shall write to my 
dear Padre himself. 

Oh — but — shall I tell you something? — yes, 


though you won't care a fig ; but I have had my 
lesson in Latin. 1 Dr. Johnson tutored Miss Thrale 
while I was with you, and was set off for Litch- 
field before I came ; but Mrs. Thrale attended 
the lecture, and has told me every word of it she 
could recollect : so we must both be ready for him 
against his return. I heartily wish I rejoiced more 
sincerely in this classical plan. But the truth is, I 
have more fear of the malignity which will follow 
its being known, than delight in what advantages 
it may afford. All my delight, indeed, is that this 
great and good man should think me worthy his 

Brighthelmstone, 2 May 26. — I have not had a 
moment for writing, my dear Susy, since I came 
hither, till now, for we have been perpetually 
engaged either with sights or company ; for not- 
withstanding this is not the season, here are 
folks enough to fill up time from morning to 

The road from Streatham hither is beautiful ; 
Mr., Mrs., Miss Thrale, and Miss Susan Thrale, 
and I, travelled in a coach, with four horses, and 
two of the servants in a chaise, besides two men on 
horseback ; so we were obliged to stop for some 
time at three places on the road. 3 

Reigate, the first town, is a very old, half- 
ruined borough, in a most neglected condition. 
A high hill, leading to it, afforded a very fine 
prospect, of the Malvern Hill nature, though 

[We amused ourselves while we waited here, at 
a bookseller's shop, where Mrs. Thrale inquired if 
they had got the book she had recommended to 
them. "Yes, ma'am," was the answer, "and it's 

1 These Latin lessons were soon discontinued. 

2 The old name for Brighton. But the writer uses both (see post, June 
10, 1780). 

3 This gives a good idea of the former methods of travelling. 


always out, — the ladies like it vastly." I suppose 
I need not tell you what it was ?] 

At Cuckfield, which is in Sussex, and but 
fourteen miles hence, we dined. 

[It is a clean and pretty town, and we passed all 
the time we rescued from eating in the churchyard, 
where I copied four epitaphs in my tablets, — and 
you shall have them. 

First : 

Lord, thou hast pointed out my life 

In length much like a span ; 
My age was nothing unto Thee, 

So vain is every man. 

The second was : 

An indulgent husband, and friend sincere, 
And a neighbourly man lies buried here. 

The third was upon a young wife : 

Not twelve months were passed after our wedding day, 

But death in come, and from a loving husband took me away. 

The fourth, upon a young couple, who both 
died soon after marriage : 

Repent in time, make no delay, 

We after each other were soon called away. 

So, you see, the dabblers have not been idle in 
the noble town of Cuckfield.] 

The view of the South Downs from Cuckfield 
to this place is very curious and singular. We got 
home by about nine o'clock. Mr. Thrale's house 
is in West Street, 1 which is the court end of the 
town here as well as in London. 'Tis a neat, small 
house, and I have a snug, comfortable room to 
myself. The sea is not many yards from our 

1 It is No. 64 in the Brighthelmston Directory for 1800, when it belonged 
to Esther Thrale (Queenie). There is a sketch of it at page 7 of Bishop's 
Brighton in the Olden Time, 1892. 


windows. Our journey was delightfully pleasant, 
the day being heavenly, the roads in fine order, the 
prospects charming, and everybody good-humoured 
and cheerful. 

Thursday, — We pass our time here most delect- 
ably. This dear and most sweet family grow daily 
more kind to me ; and all of them contrive to make 
me of so much consequence, that I can now no 
more help being easy than, till lately, I could help 
being embarrassed. Mrs. Thrale has, indeed, from 
the first moment of our acquaintance, been to me 
all my heart could wish ; and now her husband and 
daughter gain ground in my good grace and favour 
every day. 

Just before we went to dinner, a chaise drove 
up/ to the door, and from it issued Mr. Murphy. 
He met with a very joyful reception ; and Mr. 
Thrale, for the first time in his life, said he was 
44 a good fellow" : for he makes it a sort of rule 
to salute him with the title of " scoundrel," or 
" rascal." They are very old friends ; and I ques- 
tion if Mr. Thrale loves any man so well. 

[He made me many very flattering speeches, of 
his eagerness to go on with my play, to know what 
became of the several characters, and to what place 
I should next conduct them ; assuring me that the 
first act had run in his head ever since he had 
read it.] 

In the evening we all adjourned to Major 

H 's, where, besides his own family, we found 

Lord Mordaunt, son to the Earl of Peterborough, 
— a pretty, languid, tonnish young man ; Mr. 
Fisher, who is said to be a scholar, but is nothing 
enchanting as a gentleman ; young Fitzgerald, 
as much the thing as ever ; and Mr. Lucius 

Mr. Murphy was the life of the party : he was 


in good spirits, and extremely entertaining ; he told 
a million of stories, admirably well ; but stories 
won't do upon paper, therefore I shall not attempt 
to present you with them. 

This morning, as soon as breakfast was over, 
Mr. Murphy said, " I must now go to the seat by 
the seaside, with my new set of acquaintance, from 
whom I expect no little entertainment." 

" Ay," said Mrs. Thrale, " and there you'll find 
us all ! I believe this rogue means me for Lady 
Smatter ; but Mrs. Voluble 1 must speak the epi- 
logue, Mr. Murphy." 

"That must depend upon who performs the 
part," answered he. 

" Don't talk of it now," cried I, " for Mr. Thrale 
knows nothing of it." 

" I think," cried Mr. Murphy, " you might touch 
upon his character in Censor.'" 2 

" Ay," cried Mr. Thrale, " I expect a knock 
some time or other ; but, when it comes, I'll carry 
all my myrmidons to catcall it ! " 

Mr. Murphy then made me fetch him the second 
Act, and marched off with it. 

We had a very grand dinner to-day (though 
nothing to a Streatham dinner) at the Ship 
Tavern, 3 where the officers mess, to which we were 
invited by the major and captain. All the officers I 

have mentioned, and three or four more, the H 's, 

Miss Forth, Lord Mordaunt, Messieurs Murphy, 
Fisher, and Fitzgerald, Dr. Delap, 4 and our own 
party, made an immensely formidable appearance. 

1 These are characters in The Witlings. 

2 A character in The Witlings. 

3 The Old Ship Tavern in Ship Street (No. 46), at this date kept by 
John Hicks. It was the business house of the town. 

4 Dr. John Delap, 1725-1812, incumbent of Wool Lavington, Sussex. 
He was writing a play called Macaria on the story of the widow and 
daughter of Hercules, probably that produced at Drury Lane in 1781 as 
The Royal Suppliants, and based upon the Heraclidce of Euripides. See 
post, pp. 222, 224. 


Dr. Delap arrived in the morning, and is to stay 
two days. He is too silent for me to form much 
judgment of his companionable talents, and his 
appearance is snug and reserved. Mrs. Thrale is 
reading his play, and likes it much. It is to come 
out next season. It is droll enough that there 
should be, at this time, a tragedy and comedy in 
exactly the same situation, placed so accidentally 
in the same house. 

We afterwards went on the parade, where the 
soldiers 1 were mustering, and found Captain 
Fuller's men all half intoxicated, and laughing so 
violently as we past by them, that they could 
hardly stand upright. The captain stormed at 
them most angrily ; but, turning to us said, 
" These poor fellows have just been paid their 
arrears, and it is so unusual to them to have a 
sixpence in their pockets, that they know not how 
to keep it there." 

The wind being extremely high, our caps and 
gowns were blown about most abominably ; and 
this increased the risibility of the merry light 
infantry. Captain Fullers desire to keep order 
made me laugh, as much as the men's incapacity 
to obey him ; for, finding our flying drapery pro- 
voked their mirth, he went up to the biggest 
grinner, and, shaking him violently by the 
shoulders, said, " What do you laugh for, sirrah ? 
do you laugh at the ladies ? " and, as soon as he 
had given the reprimand, it struck him to be so 
ridiculous, that he was obliged to turn quick 
round, and commit the very fault he was attacking 
most furiously. 

I broke off where we were all assembled on 
Thursday, — which, by the way, is exactly opposite 
to the inn in which Charles II. hid himself after 

1 The Sussex militia. See post, p. 223. 


the battle of Worcester, previously to his escaping 
from the kingdom. 1 So I fail not to look at it with 
loyal satisfaction: and his black -wigged majesty 
has, from the time of the Restoration, been its 

After tea, the bishop, 2 his lady, Lord Mordaunt, 

and Mrs. H seated themselves to play at whist ; 

and Mr. Murphy, coming up to me, said, 

" I have had no opportunity, Miss Burney, to 
tell you how much I have been entertained this 
morning, but I have a great deal to say to you 
about it ; I am extremely pleased with it, indeed. 
The dialogue is charming ; and the " 

"What's that?" cried Mrs. Thrale. "Mr. 
Murphy always flirting with Miss Burney ? And 
here, too, where everybody's watched ! " 

And she cast her eyes towards Mrs. H , who 

is as censorious a country lady as ever locked up 
all her ideas in a country town. She has told us 
sneering anecdotes of every woman and every 
officer in Brighthelmstone. 

Mr. Murphy, checked by Mrs. Thrale's exclama- 
tion, stopt the conversation, and said he must run 
away, but would return in half-an-hour. 

" Don't expect, however, Miss Burney," he said, 
" I shall bring with me what you are thinking of ; 
no, I can't part with it yet ! " 

" What ! at it again ! " cried Mrs. Thrale. " This 
flirting is incessant ; but it's all to Mr. Murphy's 

Mrs. Thrale told me afterwards, that she made 
these speeches to divert the attention of the com- 
pany from our subject ; for that she found they 
were all upon the watch the moment Mr. Murphy 
addressed me, and that the bishop and his lady 

1 The King's Head in West Street (No. 8) ; but its connection with his 
44 black-wigged majesty " is very doubtful. 

2 Bishop of Peterborough. See post, p. 222. 


almost threw down their cards, from eagerness to 
discover what he meant. 

I am now more able to give you some sketch of 
Dr. Delap ; and as he is coming into the world 
next winter, in my own walk, and, like me, for the 
first time, you may shake us together when I have 
drawn him, and conjecture our fates. 
C He is commonly and naturally grave, silent, and 
absent ; but when any subject is once begun upon 
which he has anything to say, he works it thread- 
bare, yet hardly seems to know, when all is over, 
what, or whether anything, has passed. He is a 
man, as I am told by those who know, of deep 
learning, but totally ignorant of life and manners. 
As to his person and appearance, they are much in 
the John-trot 1 style. He seems inclined to be 
particularly civil to me ; but not knowing how, 
according to the general forms, he has only shown 
his inclination by perpetual offers to help me at 
dinner, and repeated exclamations at my not eating 
more profusely. 

So much for my brother- dramatist. J 

The supper was very gay : Mrs. Thrale was in 
high spirits, and her wit flashed with incessant 
brilliancy ; Mr. Murphy told several stories with 
admirable humour ; and the Bishop of Peter- 
borough was a worthy third in contributing to- 
wards general entertainment. He turns out most 
gaily sociable. Mrs. H. was discussed, and, poor 
lady, not very mercifully. 

Mrs. Thrale said she lived upon the Steyn, for 
the pleasure of viewing, all day long, who walked 
with who, how often the same persons were seen 
together, and what visits were made by gentlemen 
to ladies, or ladies to gentlemen. 

" She often tells me," said the captain, " of my 

1 "John-Trot" is used here for "commonplace," "ordinary." The 
phrase is employed by Foote, Chesterfield, Walpole, and Goldsmith. 


men. ' Oh,' she says, * Captain Fuller, your men 
are always after the ladies ! ' " 

"Nay," cried Mrs. Thrale, "I should have 
thought the officers might have contented her ; 
but if she takes in the soldiers too, she must have 
business enough ! " 

" Oh, she gets no satisfaction by her complaints ; 
for I only say, * Why, ma'am, we are all young ! — 
all young and gay ! — and how can we do better 
than follow the ladies ? ' " 

"After all," returned Mrs. Thrale, "I believe 
she can talk of nothing else, and therefore we must 
forgive her." 

Friday, May 28. 

In the morning, before breakfast, came Dr. 
Delap ; and Mrs. Thrale, in ambiguous terms, 
complimented him upon his play, and expressed 
her wish that she might tell me of it ; upon which 
hint he instantly took the manuscript from his 
pocket, and presented it to me, begging me, at 
the same time, to tell him of any faults that I 
might meet with in it. 

There, Susy ! am I not grown a grand person ; 
not merely looked upon as a writer, but addressed 
as a critic ! Upon my word this is fine ! 

By the way, it is really amazing the fatigue 
these militia officers go through, without compul- 
sion or interest, to spur them. Major H. is a man 
of at least £8000 a year, and has a noble seat in 
this county, and quits ease, pleasure, retirement 
in the country, and public diversions in London, 
to take the charge of the Sussex militia ! Captain 
Fuller, too, has an estate of £4000 or £5000 a 
year — is but just of age — has figure, understanding, 
education, vivacity, and independence — and yet 
voluntarily devotes almost all his time, and almost 
all his attention, to a company of light infantry. 


Instances such as these, my dear Susy, ought to 
reconcile all the penniless sons of toil and industry 
to their cares and labours ; since those whom afflu- 
ence invites to all the luxuries of indolence, sicken 
of those very gifts which the others seem only to 
exist to procure. 

As soon as we returned home, I seized Dr. 
Delap's play. It is called Macaria. Mr. Thrale, 
who frequently calls me Queen Dido, from a 
notion that I resemble an actress in France who 
performed that part, 1 and from a general idea of 
my having a theatrical turn, was mightily diverted 
at this oddly-timed confidence of Dr. Delap, and, 
tapping at my door, called out, " Queen Dido, what ! 
rehearsing still ? Why, I think you should tip the 
doctor the same compliment ! " 

I could only read the first Act before dinner. 
Mrs. Thrale came to me while I was dressing, and 
said, " Murphy is quite charmed with your second 
Act : he says he is sure it will do, and more than 
do. He has been talking of you this half-hour : 
he calls you a sly designing body, and says you 
look all the people through most wickedly ; he 
watches you, and vows he has caught you in the 
fact. Nobody and nothing, he says, escapes you, 
and you keep looking round for characters all day 
long. And Dr. Delap has been talking of you." 

" I hope he does not suspect the play ? " 

" Why, he would not tell ! " 

" Oh, but I should be sorry to put it in his 
power ! " 

"Why, he's such an absent creature, that if 
he were to hear it to-day he would forget it 

" No, as he is engaged in the same pursuit 

1 Perhaps Mile. Clairon, who was great as " Dido," or Mile. Dumesnil, 
from whom Mrs. Woffington learned so much. 


himself at this very time, I believe he would 
remember it." 

" Well, it's too late, however, now, for he knows 
it ; but I did not tell him ; Murphy did ; he broke 
out into praises of the second Act before him. 
But he'll tell nobody, depend upon it," continued 
she ; "it only put him upon asking one a hundred 
questions about you, and singing your praise ; he 
has teased me all the morning about your family, 
and how many sisters and brothers you have, and 
if you were Dr. Burney's daughter, and a million 
more inquiries." 

During dinner, I observed that Mr. Murphy 
watched me almost incessantly, with such archness 
of countenance that I could hardly look at him, 
and Dr. Delap did the same, with an earnestness 
of gravity that was truly solemn — till Mr. Murphy, 
catching my eye, said, 

"We have been talking of you — ask Mrs. 
Thrale what I say of you — I have found out your 
schemes, shy as you are. Dr. Delap, too, heard 
how I discovered you." 

" Oh, but Dr. Delap," answered Mrs. Thrale, 
" is the best man in the world for discoveries — for 
he'll forget every word by to-morrow — shan't you, 
Dr. Delap?" 

" Not Miss Burney ! " cried the doctor gallantly, 
" I'm sure I shan't forget Miss Burney ! " 

When Mrs. Thrale gave the signal for our 
leaving the gentlemen, Dr. Delap, as I past him, 
said in a whisper, " Have you read it ? " 

" No, not quite." 

" How do you like it ? " 

I could make but one answer. How strangely 
ignorant of the world is this good clergyman, to 
ask such a question so abruptly ! 

AVe were engaged to finish the evening at Major 

VOL. i Q 


H 's, but as I feared hurting Dr. Delap by any 

seeming indifference, I begged Mrs. Thrale to let 
me stay at home till I had read his play, and, 
therefore, the rest of the party went before me. 

I had, however, only three Acts in my posses- 
sion. The story is of the daughter and widow of 
Hercules — and, indeed, I liked the play much 
better than I expected to do. The story is such 
as renders the author's ignorance of common life 
and manners not very material, since the characters 
are of the Heroic age, and therefore require more 
classical than worldly knowledge, and, accordingly, 
its only resemblance is to the tragedies of iEschylus 
and Sophocles. 

Saturday, May 29. 

[Early in the morning, the kind Mrs. Thrale 
brought me your letter, saying, " Here, — here's 
news from home ! My master would have had 
me keep it till breakfast ; but I told him he^ did 
not love you so well as I did ; he vowed that was 
not true, — but it's plain it was, for I was in most 
haste to make you happy."] 

After breakfast, Mrs. and Miss Thrale took me 
to Widget's, the milliner and library- woman on the 
Steyn. After a little dawdling conversation, Cap- 
tain Fuller came in to have a little chat. He said 
he had just gone through a great operation — " I 
have been," he said, " cutting off the hair of all my 

"And why?" 

" Why, the Duke of Richmond l ordered that 
it should be done, and the fellows swore that they 
would not submit to it, — so I was forced to be the 
operator myself. I told them they would look as 
smart again when they had got on their caps ; but 

1 Charles Lennox, 1735-1806, third Duke of Richmond and Lennox, 
was Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex. 


it went much against them, they vowed, at first, 
they would not bear such usage ; some said they 
would sooner be run through the body, and others, 
that the Duke should as soon have their heads. 
I told them I would soon try that, and fell to work 
myself with them." 

" And how did they bear it ? " 

" Oh, poor fellows, with great good -nature, 
when they found his honour was their barber : but 
I thought proper to submit to hearing all their 
oaths, and all their jokes ; for they had no other 
comfort but to hope I should have enough of it, 
and such sort of wit. Three or four of them, how- 
ever, escaped, but I shall find them out. I told 
them I had a good mind to cut my own hair off 
too, and then they would have a Captain Crop. I 
shall soothe them to-morrow with a present of 
new feathers for all their caps." 

[Presently we were joined by Dr. Delap and 
Mr. Murphy. The latter, taking me aside, said, 

" Has Mrs. Thrale told you what I said ? " 

" 1 don't know, — she has told me some odd sort 
of — nonsense, I was going to say." 

" But, do you know the name I have settled to 
call you by ? " 


" Miss Slyboots ! — that is exactly the thing ! — 
Oh, you are a wicked one ! — I have found you 

" Oh, to be sure ! but pray, now, don't tell such 
a name about, for if you give it, it will soon 

Then he began upon the second Act ; but I 
feared being suspected, and stole away from him.] 

Different occupations, in a short time, called 
away all our gentlemen but Dr. Delap ; and he, 
seating himself next me, began to question me 
about his tragedy. I soon said all I wanted to 


say upon the subject, — and, soon after, a great 
deal more, — but not soon after was he satisfied ; 
he returned to the same thing a million of times, 
asked the same questions, exacted the same com- 
pliments, and worked at the same passages, till I 
almost fell asleep with the sound of the same 
words ; and at last, with what little animation was 
left me, I contrived to make Miss Thrale propose 
a walk on the Steyn, and crawling out of the shop, 
I sought, — and found, — revival from the breezes. 
[Yet not before he had planned a meeting at 
Streatham, where a council, composed of Dr. 
Johnson, Mr. Murphy, and Mrs. Thrale are to sit 
upon the play for oral judgment, and where, at his 
express desire, I am to make one. This is to take 
place some time before the Spa journey. 

Sunday, May 30. — Just as I was finishing my 
attire for dinner, I saw Captain Fuller drive past 
my window in his phaeton, and stop at the door. 
He had not time to alight. I went downstairs as 
soon as I was ready, and found the three Thrales, 
Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Michell crowding the door 
to take leave of him. He kissed his hand to me 
with a military air, and wishing me good-morning, 
drove away. I mention this because it comes into 
play afterwards. 

In the middle of the dinner, Mr. Michell, who 
had scarce opened his mouth to me twice before, 
turned to me abruptly, and very gravely said : 

" Pray, Miss Burney, where is Captain Fuller 

n 55* 

going i 

" To London, I believe, sir." 

"Dear," said Mrs. Thrale, "how odd Mr. 
Michell is ! what should make him ask Miss 
Burney ? " 

" Why, ma'am," said he, " a very obvious reason, 
— I thought her most likely to know." 

" And why should you think that, sir ? " quoth I. 


" Because I observed he would not go till he 
had seen you. I saw very plainly — he is a fine 
young man, and I think " 

"I think," cried Mrs. Thrale, "he could not 
show his taste more ! And he is so amiable and 
so sensible, that I wish neither Queeny, nor Miss 
Burney, nor Miss Brown worse luck." 

" It is presumed, ma'am," said Mr. Michell, 
" that he is now gone to town to wait upon Dr. 
Burney, — such, at least, is the Brighthelmstone 

"Well," said Mrs. Thrale, "but seriously 
though — before you came down, when I said, 
remember you are engaged at Streatham for the 
10th, 11th, and 12th, he said, * Will Miss Burney 
be there ? ' " 

What strange and absurd rubbish ! 

Sunday evening we had the bishop, his lady, 
and Mr. Murphy ; and Right Reverend and all 
were most outrageously merry. 

Dr. Delap is returned to Lewes ; and he bored 
Mr. Murphy and Miss Thrale by asking so many 
questions of how I came to write Evelina, and why 
I writ it at all, and what set me on, and other such 
curious inquiries, that, at last, they almost lost all 
patience with him.] 

Streatham, June 12. — Now, my dear Susan, hard 
and fast — let me write up to the present time. 

I left you all, as you truly say, on Saturday, in 
no very high spirits. Mrs. Thrale's visible uneasi- 
ness and agitation quite alarmed me. I dared ask 
her no questions ; but, soon after we drove off, Sir 
Philip Gierke gently and feelingly led to the sub- 
ject, and, in the course of our ride, got from her 
all the particulars of poor Mr. Thrale's dreadful 
and terrifying attack. 

I find, with true concern, that it was un- 
doubtedly a paralytic stroke. He was taken ill at 


his sister's, Mrs. Nesbitt' s, 1 during dinner ; he did 
not absolutely fall, but his head sank upon the 
table, and, as soon as he was able to raise it, they 
found that his reason had left him ; he talked 
wildly, and seemed to know nobody. Mrs. Nesbitt 
brought him home ; he was much better before 
Dr. Bromfield could be fetched ; yet, for three days 
afterwards, his senses, at intervals, were frightfully 

When we stopped here, Sir Philip immediately 
went to Mr. Thrale, but I ran past the door, and 
up to my own room, for I quite dreaded seeing 
him till I had prepared myself to meet him with- 
out any seeming concern, as I was told that he 
was extremely suspicious of being thought in any 
danger. I dawdled away about an hour, and then 
asked Miss Thrale to accompany me into the 

Mr. Thrale was there, with Sir Philip, Mr. 
Seward, and Captain Fuller. I endeavoured to 
enter, and behave as if nothing had happened. 
I saw Mr. Thrale fix his eyes upon me with an 
inquisitive and melancholy earnestness, as if to 
read my opinion : indeed, his looks were vastly 
better than I expected, but his evident dejection 
quite shocked me. I did not dare go up to him, 
for if he had offered to shake hands with me, I 
believe I should have been unable to disguise my 
concern ; for, indeed, he has of late made himself 
a daily increasing interest in my regard and kind 
wishes. I, therefore, turned short from him, and, 
pretending earnest talk with Miss Thrale, went to 
one of the windows. 

At dinner everybody tried to be cheerful ; but 
a dark and gloomy cloud hangs over the head of 
poor Mr. Thrale which no flashes of merriment or 

1 Mrs. Nesbitt (afterwards Mrs. Scott). Thrale had three other sisters, 
Mrs. Rice, Lady Lade, and Mrs. Plumbe. 


beams of wit can pierce through ; yet he seems 
pleased that everybody should be gay, and desirous 
to be spoken to, and of, as usual. 

[At tea we had the company of Dr. and Mrs. 
Parker. I think I have mentioned them before. 
By chance I was about ten minutes alone with the 
Doctor in the parlour, who, with a formality that 
accompanies whatever he says, slowly observed, 

" So, they are gone, — and I am now left alone 
with thee, Evelina ! " 

I instantly started some other subject, in order 
to stop him ; but, with the same gravity, he, 
nevertheless, chose to continue. 

"You have gained great esteem, great esteem, 
indeed, in the world, by that performance ! " 

" The world," cried I, " is sometimes taken with 
a very kind fit ; I'm sure it has in regard to that 
poor book ! " 

1 No, not so, — only with a judicious fit ! " 

And then he proceeded with formal compliments 
till we were joined by the rest of the company. 

After tea the Parkers left us, and we walked 
round the grounds. We now walk as much as 
possible, in order to seduce Mr. Thrale to take 
exercise, which is not only the best, but the only 
thing for him.] 

Sunday \ June 13. — After church, we all strolled 
round the grounds, and the topic of our discourse 
was Miss Streatfield. Mrs. Thrale asserted that she 
had a power of captivation that was irresistible ; 
that her beauty, joined to her softness, her caressing 
manners, her tearful eyes, and alluring looks, would 
insinuate her into the heart of any man she thought 
worth attacking. 

Sir Philip declared himself of a totally different 
opinion, and quoted Dr. Johnson against her, who 
had told him that, taking away her Greek, she was 
as ignorant as a butterfly. 


Mr. Seward declared her Greek was all against 
her with him, for that, instead of reading Pope, 
Swift, or the Spectator — books from which she 
might derive useful knowledge and improvement — 
it had led her to devote all her reading time to the 
first eight books of Homer. 

" But," said Mrs. Thrale, " her Greek, you must 
own, has made all her celebrity ; — you would have 
heard no more of her than of any other pretty girl, 
but for that." 

"What I object to," said Sir Philip, "is her 
avowed preference for this parson. 1 Surely it is 
very indelicate in any lady to let all the world 
know with whom she is in love ! " 

" The parson," said the severe Mr. Seward, " I 
suppose, spoke first, — or she would as soon have 
been in love with you, or with me ! " 

You will easily believe I gave him no pleasant 
look. He wanted me to slacken my pace, and tell 
him, in confidence, my private opinion of her ; but 
I told him, very truly, that as I knew her chiefly by 
account, not by acquaintance, I had not absolutely 
formed my opinion. 

" Were I to live with her four days," said this 
odd man, " I believe the fifth I should want to take 
her to church." 

" You'd be devilish tired of her, though," said 
Sir Philip, "in half a year. A crying wife will 
never do ! " 

" Oh yes," cried he, " the pleasure of soothing 
her would make amends." 

" Ah," cried Mrs. Thrale, " I would insure her 
power of crying herself into any of your hearts she 
pleased. I made her cry to Miss Burney, 2 to show 
how beautiful she looked in tears." 

1 Dr. W. Vyse, rector of Lambeth. See post, vol. ii. under date 
Friday, January 10, 1783. 

2 See ante, p. 210. 


" If I had been her," said Mr. Seward, " I would 
never have visited you again." 

"Oh, but she liked it," answered Mrs. T., "for 
she knows how well she does it. Miss Burney 
would have run away, but she came forward on 
purpose to show herself. I would have done so by 
nobody else ; but Sophy Streatfield is never happier 
than when the tears trickle from her fine eyes in 

" Suppose, Miss Burney," said Mr. Seward, " we 
make her the heroine of our comedy ? 1 and call it 
* Hearts have at ye all ! ' " 

" Excellent ! " cried I, " it can't be better." 

" Tell me, then — what situations you will have ? 
But stay, I have another name that I think will do 
very well for a comedy, — ' Everything a Bore.' " 2 

" Oh, mighty well ! and you shall be the hero ! " 
cried I. 

" Well said, Miss Burney ! " cried Mrs. Thrale ; 
" and pray let his name be Mr. Chagrin." 

Well, indeed, did she name him ; for I think his 
ennui, his sickness of the world and its inhabitants, 
grows more and more obvious every day. He is, 
indeed, a melancholy instance of the inefficacy of 
fortune, talents, education, wit, and benevolence 
united, to render any man happy whose mind has 
not a native disposition of content. 

At dinner we had three persons added to our 
company, — my dear father, Miss Streatfield, and 
Miss Brown. 

Well -selected, gay, good-humoured, and un- 
commonly agreeable as was the whole society, the 
day failed of being happy ; for Mr. Thrale's extreme 
seriousness and lowness, and Mrs. Thrale's agitated 
and struggling cheerfulness, spread a degree of 
gravity and discomfort over us, that, though they 

1 See post, p. 241. 
2 This sounds like an anticipation of Charles Mathews's Used Up. 


prevented not partial and occasional sallies, totally 
banished our accustomed general and continued 

Miss Brown, however, as you may remember I 
foresaw, proved the queen of the day. Miss Streat- 
field requires longer time to make conquests. She 
is, indeed, much more really beautiful than Fanny 
Brown ; but Fanny Brown is much more showy, 
and her open, good-humoured, gay, laughing face 
inspires an almost immediate wish of conversing 
and merry-making with her. Indeed, the two days 
she spent here have raised her greatly in my regard. 
She is a charming girl, and so natural, and easy, 
and sweet-tempered, that there is no being half an 
hour in her company without ardently wishing her 

Monday, June 14, proved far more lively and 
comfortable. Mr. Thrale daily looks somewhat 
better ; and his sweet wife's natural spirits and 
happiness insensibly, though not uniformly, return. 

At breakfast, our party was Sir Philip, Mr. 
Fuller, Miss Streatfield, Miss Brown, the Thrales, 
and I. 

The first office performed was dressing Miss 
Brown. She had put on bright jonquil ribbons. 
Mrs. Thrale exclaimed against them immediately ; 
Mr. Fuller half joined her, and away she went, and 
brought green ribbons of her own, which she made 
Miss Brown run upstairs with to put on. This 
she did with the utmost good-humour : but dress 
is the last thing in which she excels ; for she has 
lived so much abroad, and so much with foreigners 
at home, that she never appears habited as an 
Englishwoman, nor as a high-bred foreigner, but 
rather as an Italian opera-dancer ; and her wild, 
careless, giddy manner, her loud hearty laugh, and 
general negligence of appearance, contribute to give 
her that air and look. I like her so much, that I 


am quite sorry she is not better advised, either by 
her own or some friend's judgment. 

Miss Brown, however, was queen of the break- 
fast : for though her giddiness made everybody 
take liberties with her, her good -humour made 
everybody love her, and her gaiety made every- 
body desirous to associate with her. Sir Philip 
played with her as with a young and sportive 
kitten ; Mr. Fuller laughed and chatted with her ; 
and Mr. Seward, when here, teases and torments 
her. The truth is, he cannot bear her, and she, in 
return, equally fears and dislikes him, but still she 
cannot help attracting his notice. 

We then all walked out, and had a very delightful 
stroll : but, in returning, one of the dogs (we have 
twelve, I believe, belonging to the house) was de- 
tected pursuing the sheep on the common. Miss 
Thrale sent one of the men after him, and he was 
seized to be punished. The poor creature's cries 
were so dreadful, that I took to my feet and ran 

When, after all was over, they returned to the 
house, the saucy Captain Fuller, as soon as he saw 
me, exclaimed, " Oh, some hartshorn ! some harts- 
horn for Miss Burney ! " 

I instantly found he thought me guilty of 
affectation ; and the drollery of his manner made 
it impossible to be affronted with his accusation ; 
therefore I took the trouble to try to clear myself, 
but know not how I succeeded. I assured him 
that if my staying could have answered any pur- 
pose, I would have compelled myself to hear the 
screams, and witness the correction, of the offend- 
ing animal ; but that as that was not the case, I 
saw no necessity for giving myself pain officiously. 

" But I'll tell you," cried he, " my reason for not 
liking that ladies should run away from all disagree- 
able sights : I think that if they are totally unused 


to them, whenever any accident happens, they are 
not only helpless, but worse, for they scream and 
faint, and get out of the way ; when, if they were 
not so frightened, they might be of some service. 
I was with a lady the other day, when a poor 
fellow was brought into her house half-killed : but, 
instead of doing him any good, she only shrieked, 
and called out — 'Oh! mercy on me!' and ran away." 

There was an honesty so characteristic in this 
attack, that I took very serious pains to vindicate 
myself, and told him that, if I had any knowledge 
of myself, I could safely affirm that, in any case 
similar to what he mentioned, instead of running 
away, I should myself, if no abler person were at 
hand, have undertaken not merely to see, but to 
bind the man's wounds : nor, indeed, can I doubt 
but I should. 

While we were dressing, Mr. Seward returned ; 
he had postponed his journey to Cornwall ; and, 
before dinner, Dr. Delap arrived from Lewes. 

Mr. Seward's ennui coming under consideration, 
Mrs. Thrale asked us if he was not the Pococurante 1 
in Candide. 

Not one of us had read it. 

"What!" cried Mr. Seward, "have not you, 
Miss Burney ? " 

" No, never." 

" Well," said Mrs. Thrale, " I am quite amazed 
at that ! I did not expect Dr. Delap or Sophy 
Streatfield to have read it ; but how you missed 
it I do wonder." 

" Miss Streatfield," said Mr. Seward, " I dare- 
say, never reads but in form — finishes one book 
before she will look at another, and spreads a green 
cloth on her table, and sets to it in earnest." 

" Perhaps," said Dr. Delap, " Miss Burney, like 

1 Signor Pococurante, a noble Venetian, is Voltaire's type of indiffer- 
ence (Candide, 1759, ch. xxv.). 


Dr. Middleton, is in a course of reading, so goes on 

"No, no," cried Mrs. Thrale, "that is not her 
way ; she is a very desultory reader." 

" I daresay she is," said Mr. Seward, " and that 
makes her so clever." 

Candide was then produced, and Mrs. Thrale 
read aloud the part concerning Pococurante ; and 
really the cap fitted so well, that Mr. Seward 
could not attempt to dispute it. 

Wednesday, June 16. — We had, at breakfast, 
a scene, of its sort, the most curious I ever saw. 

The persons were Sir Philip, Mr. Seward, Dr. 
Delap,Miss Streatfield, Mrs. and Miss Thrale, and I. 

The discourse turning, I know not how, upon 
Miss Streatfield, Mrs. Thrale said, 

"Ay, I made her cry once for Miss Burney as 
pretty as could be : 1 but nobody does cry so pretty 
as the S. S. I'm sure, when she cried for Seward, 
I never saw her look half so lovely." 

"For Seward?" cried Sir Philip; "did she cry 
for Seward ? What a happy dog ! I hope she'll 
never cry for me, for, if she does, I wont answer 
for the consequences ! " 

" Seward," said Mrs. Thrale, " had affronted 
Johnson, and then Johnson affronted Seward, and 
then the S. S. cried." 

"Oh," cried Sir Philip, "that I had but been 
here ! " 

" Nay," answered Mrs. Thrale, " you'd only have 
seen how like three fools three sensible persons 
behaved : for my part, I was quite sick of it, and 
of them, too." 

Sir Philip. — But what did Seward do ? was he 
not melted ? 

Mrs. Thrale. — Not he ; he was thinking only of 
his own affront, and taking fire at that. 

1 See ante, p. 210. 


Mr. Seward. — Why, yes, I did take fire, for I 
went and planted my back to it. 

S. S. — And Mrs. Thrale kept stuffing me with 
toast-and- water. 

Sir Philip. — But what did Seward do with him- 
self ? Was not he in ecstasy ? What did he do, 
or say ? 

Mr. Seward. — Oh, I said pho, pho, don't let's 
have any more of this, — it's making it of too much 
consequence : no more piping, pray. 

Sir Philip. — Well, I have heard so much of 
these tears, that I would give the universe to have 
a sight of them. 

Mrs. Thrale. — Well, she shall cry again if you 
like it. 

S. S— No, pray, Mrs. Thrale. 

Sir Philip. — Oh, pray do ! pray let me see a 
little of it. 

Mrs. Thrale. — Yes, do cry a little, Sophy (in a 
wheedling voice), pray do ! Consider, now, you are 
going to-day, and it's very hard if you won't cry a 
little : indeed, S. S., you ought to cry. 

Now for the wonder of wonders. When Mrs. 
Thrale, in a coaxing voice, suited to a nurse soothing 
a baby, had run on for some time, — while all the 
rest of us, in laughter, joined in the request, — two 
crystal tears came into the soft eyes of the S. S., 
and rolled gently down her cheeks ! Such a sight 
I never saw before, 1 nor could I have believed. 
She offered not to conceal or dissipate them : on 
the contrary, she really contrived to have them 
seen by everybody. She looked, indeed, uncom- 
monly handsome ; for her pretty face was not, like 
Chloe's, blubbered ; 2 it was smooth and elegant, 
and neither her features nor complexion were at 

1 Miss Burney forgets. See ante, p. 210. 

2 " Dear Cloe, how blubber 'd is that pretty face." 

Prior's " Answer to Cloe Jealous." 


all ruffled ; nay, indeed, she was smiling all the 

" Look, look ! " cried Mrs. Thrale ; " see if the 
tears are not come already." 

Loud and rude bursts of laughter broke from 
us all at once. How, indeed, could they be re- 
strained ? Yet we all stared, and looked and 
re-looked again and again, twenty times, ere we 
could believe our eyes. Sir Philip, I thought, 
would have died in convulsions ; for his laughter 
and his politeness, struggling furiously with one 
another, made him almost black in the face. Mr. 
Seward looked half vexed that her crying for him 
was now so much lowered in its flattery, yet 
grinned incessantly ; Miss Thrale laughed as much 
as contempt would allow her ; but Dr. Delap 
seemed petrified with astonishment. 

When our mirth abated, Sir Philip, colouring 
violently with his efforts to speak, said, 

" I thank you, ma'am, I'm much obliged to 

But I really believe he spoke without knowing 
what he was saying. 

" What a wonderful command," said Dr. Delap, 
very gravely, " that lady must have over herself ! " 

She now took out a handkerchief, and wiped 
her eyes. 

" Sir Philip," cried Mr. Seward, " how can you 
suffer her to dry her own eyes ? — you, who sit next 

"I dare not dry them for her," answered he, 
"because I am not the right man." 

"But if I sat next her," returned he, " she 
should not dry them herself." 

" I wish," cried Dr. Delap, " I had a bottle to 
put them in ; 'tis a thousand pities they should be 

" There, now," said Mrs. Thrale, " she looks for 


all the world as if nothing had happened ; for, you 
know, nothing has happened ! " 

" Would you cry, Miss Burney," said Sir Philip, 
" if we asked you ? " 

" Oh," cried Mrs. Thrale, " I would not do thus 
by Miss Burney for ten worlds ! I daresay she 
would never speak to me again. I should think 
she'd be more likely to walk out of my house than 
to cry because I bid her." 

" I don't know how that is," cried Sir Philip ; 
"but I'm sure she's gentle enough." 

" She can cry, I doubt not," said Mr. Seward, 
" on any proper occasion." 

"But I must know," said I, "what for." 

I did not say this loud enough for the S. S. to 
hear me ; but if I had, she would not have taken 
it for the reflection it meant. She seemed, the 
whole time, totally insensible to the numerous 
strange and, indeed, impertinent speeches which 
were made, and to be very well satisfied that she 
was only manifesting a tenderness of disposition 
that increased her beauty of countenance. At least, 
I can put no other construction upon her conduct, 
which was, without exception, the strangest I ever 
saw. Without any pretence of affliction, — to weep 
merely because she was bid, though bid in a manner 
to forbid any one else, — to be in good spirits all 
the time, — to see the whole company expiring of 
laughter at her tears, without being at all offended, 
— and, at last, to dry them up, and go on with the 
same sort of conversation she held before they 
started ! 

What Sir Philip or Mr. Seward privately thought 
of this incident I know not yet : but Dr. Delap 

" Yes, she has pretty blue eyes, — very pretty 
indeed ; she's quite a wonderful miss. If it had 
not been for that little gush, I don't know what 


would have become of me. It was very good- 
natured of her, really, for she charms and uncharms 
in a moment ; she is a bane and an antidote at the 
same time." 

Then, after considering it more deeply, 

" I declare," he said, " I was never so much sur- 
prised in my life ! I should as soon have expected 
that the dew would fall from heaven because Mrs. 
Thrale called for it, as that Miss What-d'ye-call-her 
would have cried just because she was asked. But 
the thing is — did she cry ? I declare I don't believe 
it. Yet I think, at this moment, I saw it, — only 
I know it could not be : something of a mist, I 
suppose, was before my eyes." 

Sunday, June 20. — Dr. Delap stayed here till 
yesterday, when he returned to Lewes. He 
attacked me before he went, about my comedy, 
and said he had some claim to see it. However, 
I escaped showing it, though he vows he will come 
again, when he is able, on purpose ; but I hope we 
shall be set out for Spa. 

Mr. Thrale continues, I hope, to get better, 
though slowly. While I was sitting with him in 
the library, Mr. Seward entered. What is become 
of his Cornwall scheme I know not. As soon as 
the first inquiries were over, he spoke about what 
he calls our comedy, and he pressed and teased me 
to set about it. But he grew, in the evening, so 
queer, so ennuye, that, in a fit of absurdity, I called 
him Mr. Dry ; and the name took so with Mrs. 
Thrale, that I know not when he will lose it. 
Indeed, there is something in this young man's 
alternate drollery and lassitude, entertaining quali- 
ties and wearying complaints, that provoke me to 
more pertness than I practise to almost anybody. 

The play, he said, should have the double title 
of " The Indifferent Man, or Everything a Bore " ; 
and I protested Mr. Dry should be the hero. And 

VOL. i it 


then we ran on, jointly planning a succession of 
ridiculous scenes ; — he lashing himself pretty freely, 
though not half so freely, or so much to the pur- 
pose, as I lashed him ; for I attacked him, through 
the channel of Mr. Dry, upon his ennui, his cause- 
less melancholy, his complaining languors, his 
yawning inattention, and his restless discontent. 
You may easily imagine I was in pretty high spirits 
to go so far : in truth, nothing else could either 
have prompted or excused my facetiousness : and 
his own manners are so cavalier, that they always, 
with me, stimulate a sympathising return. 

He repeatedly begged me to go to work, and 
commit the projected scenes to paper : but I 
thought that might be carrying the jest too far ; 
for as I was in no humour to spare him, written 
raillery might, perhaps, have been less to his taste 
than verbal. 

He challenged me to meet him the next morn- 
ing, before breakfast, in the library, that we might 
work together at some scenes ; but I thought it as 
well to let the matter drop, and did not make my 
entry till they were all assembled. 

His mind, however, ran upon nothing else ; and, 
as soon as we happened to be left together, he 
again attacked me. 

" Come," said he, " have you nothing ready yet ? 
I daresay you have half an act in your pocket. ,, 

" No," quoth I, " I have quite forgot the whole 
business ; I was only in a humour for it last night." 

" How shall it begin ? " cried he ; " with Mr. Dry 
in his study ? — his slippers just on, his hair about 
his ears, — exclaiming, * What a bore is life ! — What 
is to be done next ? ' ' 

" Next ? " cried I ; " what, before he has done 
anything at all ? " 

" Oh, he has dressed himself, you know. — Well, 
then he takes up a book " 


" For example, this," cried I, giving him Claren- 
don's History, 

He took it up in character, and flinging it away, 

" No, — this will never do, — a history by a party 
writer is odious." 

I then gave him Robertson's America. 

" This," cried he, "is of all reading the most 
melancholy ; — an account of possessions we have 
lost by our own folly." 

I then gave him Baretti's Spanish Travels. 1 

" Who," cried he, flinging it aside, " can read 
travels by a fellow who never speaks a word of 

Then I gave him a volume of Clarissa. 

66 Pho ! " cried he, "a novel writ by a bookseller ! 
— there is but one novel now one can bear to read, 
— and that's written by a young lady." 

I hastened to stop him withDalrymple's memoirs, 
and then proceeded to give him various others, upon 
all which he made severe, splenetic, yet comical 
comments ; — and we continued thus employed till 
he was summoned to accompany Mr. Thrale to 

The next morning, Wednesday, I had some very 
serious talk with Mr. Seward, — and such as gave 
me no inclination for raillery, though it was con- 
cerning his ennui ; on the contrary, I resolved, at 
the moment, never to rally him upon that subject 
again, for his account of himself filled me with 
compassion. He told me that he had never been 
well for three hours in a day in his life, and that 
when he was thought only tired, he was really so 
ill that he believed scarce another man would stay 
in company. I was quite shocked at this account, 
and told him, honestly, that I had done him so 

1 Baretti's by no means uninteresting Journey from London to Genoa, 
through England, Portugal, Spain, and France, 1770, 4 vols. 


little justice as to attribute all his languors to 

When Mrs. Thrale joined us, he told us he had 
just seen Dr. Jebb, — Sir Richard, I mean, 1 — and 
that he had advised him to marry. 

" No," cried Mrs. Thrale, " that will do nothing 
for you ; but if you should marry, I have a wife for 

-Who?" cried he, "the S. S. ?" 

" The S. S. — no ? — she's the last person for you, 
— her extreme softness, and tenderness, and weep- 
ing, would add languor to languor, and irritate all 
your disorders ; 'twould be drink to a dropsical 

" No, no, — it would soothe me." 

" Not a whit ! it would only fatigue you. The 
wife for you is Lady Anne Lindsay. 2 She has 
birth, wit, and beauty, she has no fortune, and she'd 
readily accept you ; and she is such a spirit that 
she'd animate you, I warrant you ! Oh, she would 
trim 3 you well ! You'd be all alive presently. 
She'd take all the care of the money affairs, — and 
allow you out of them eighteenpence a week ! 
That's the wife for you!" 

Mr. Seward was no means " agreeable " to the 
proposal ; he turned the conversation upon the 
S. S., and gave us an account of two visits he 
had made her, and spoke in favour of her manner 
of living, temper, and character. When he had 
run on in this strain for some time, Mrs. Thrale 

" Well, so you are grown very fond of her ?" 

" Oh dear, no ! " answered he drily, " not at 

1 See ante, p. 103. 

2 Lady Anne Lindsay, 1750-1825, daughter of James Lindsay, fifth 
Earl of Balcarres. In 1771 she had written " Auld Robin Gray." She 
married in 1793, becoming Lady Anne Barnard. 

3 This — in Sheridan's sense of " scold " — seems to have been a favourite 
word at Streatham. See ante, p. 127. 


"Why, I began to think," said Mrs. Thrale, 
" you intended to supplant the parson." 

" No, I don't : I don't know what sort of an old 
woman she'd make ; the tears won't do then. 
Besides, I don't think her so sensible as I used 
to do." 

"But she's very pleasing," cried I, "and very 

" Yes, she's pleasing, — that's certain ; but I don't 
think she reads much ; the Greek has spoilt her." 

" Well, but you can read for yourself." 

" That's true ; but does she work well ? " 

" I believe she does, and that's a better thing." 

" Ay, so it is," said he saucily, " for ladies ; ladies 
should rather write than read." 

" But authors," cried I, " before they write should 
read." 1 

Returning again to the S. S., and being again 
rallied about her by Mrs. Thrale, who said she 
believed at last he would end there, — he said, 

" Why, if I must marry — if I was bid to choose 
between that and racking on the wheel, I believe 
I should go to her." 

We all laughed at this exquisite compliment ; 
but, as he said, it was a compliment, for though it 
proved no passion for her, it proved a preference. 

"However," he continued, "it won't do." 

" Upon my word," exclaimed I, " you settle it 
all your own way ! — the lady would be ready at 
any rate ! " 

" Oh yes ! any man might marry Sophy S treat- 

I quite stopped to exclaim against him. 

" I mean," said he, " if he'd pay his court to her." 

And now I cannot resist telling you of a dispute 
which Dr. Johnson had with Mrs. Thrale, the next 
morning, concerning me, which that sweet woman 

1 See Editor's Introduction, p. 7. 


had the honesty and good sense to tell me. Dr. 
Johnson was talking to her and Sir Philip Jennings 
of the amazing progress made of late years in 
literature by the women. He said he was himself 
astonished at it, and told them he well remembered 
when a woman who could spell a common letter 
was regarded as all accomplished ; but now they 
vied with the men in everything. 1 

" I think, sir," said my friend Sir Philip, " the 
young lady we have here is a very extraordinary 
proof of what you say." 

" So extraordinary, sir," answered he, " that I 
know none like her, — nor do I believe there is, or 
there ever was, a man who could write such a book 
so young." 

They both stared — no wonder, I am sure ! — and 
Sir Philip said, 

" What do you think of Pope, sir ? could not 
Pope have written such a one ? " 

"Nay, nay," cried Mrs. Thrale, "there is no 
need to talk of Pope ; a book may be a clever book, 
and an extraordinary book, and yet not want a Pope 
for its author. I suppose he was no older than 
Miss Burney when he wrote Windsor Forest ; 2 and 
I suppose Windsor Forest is equal to Evelina ! " 

" Windsor Forest" repeated Dr. Johnson, 
"though so delightful a poem, by no means re- 
quired the knowledge of life and manners, nor the 
accuracy of observation, nor the skill of penetration, 
necessary for composing such a work as Evelina : 
he who could ever write Windsor Forest, might as 
well write it young as old. Poetical abilities require 

1 Compare Swift to Mrs. Pendarves, afterwards Mrs. Delany, January 
29, 1736 : — " A woman of quality, who had excellent good sense, was 
formerly my correspondent, but she scrawled and spelt like a Wapping 
wench . . . and I know several others of very high quality with the same 

2 The first part of Windsor Forest was written in 1704 ; the remainder 
was not added until 1713, when the whole was published. In 1704 Pope 
was sixteen. 


not age to mature them ; but Evelina seems a work 
that should result from long experience, and deep 
and intimate knowledge of the world ; yet it has 
been written without either. Miss Burney is a 
real wonder. What she is, she is intuitively. Dr. 
Burney told me she had had the fewest advantages 
of any of his daughters, from some peculiar circum- 
stances. And such has been her timidity, that he 
himself had not any suspicion of her powers." 

" Her modesty," said Mrs. Thrale (as she told 
me), " is really beyond bounds. It quite provokes 
me. And, in fact, I can never make out how the 
mind that could write that book could be ignorant 
of its value." 

" That, madam, is another wonder," answered 
my dear, dear Dr. Johnson, " for modesty with her 
is neither pretence nor decorum ; 'tis an ingredient 
of her nature ; for she who could part with such a 
work for twenty pounds, 1 could know so little of 
its worth, or of her own, as to leave no possible 
doubt of her humility." 

My kind Mrs. Thrale told me this with a plea- 
sure that made me embrace her with gratitude ; but 
the astonishment of Sir Philip Clerke at such an 
eloge from Dr. Johnson was quite, she says, comical. 

1 Lowndes had apparently not yet paid the supplementary £10, which 
he gave her after the third edition {Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 1832, ii. 151). 



Dr. Johnson — His brilliant conversation — His preference of men 
of the world to scholars — The late General Phipps — Dr. 
Johnson teaches Miss Burney Latin — Fatal effect of using 
cosmetics — Mrs. Vesey and Anstey — English ladies taken 
by a French privateer — Letters — Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp 
— Miss Burney' s comedy, The Witlings — Miss Burney to her 
father — The Witlings condemned by him and Mr. Crisp — 
She determines not to bring it forward — Admired by Mrs. 
Thrale and Mr. Murphy — Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — 
Lamentations for her comedy — Mr. Crisp to Miss Burney — 
The dangers of sincerity — Littleness and vanity of Garrick — 
Ideas for another comedy — An eccentric family — Loss of the 
Grenadas — Dinner at Dr. Burney' s — Mr. Crisp — Byron and 
D'Estaing — Diary resumed — Visit to Brighton — Mr. Chamier 
— A dandy of fifty years ago — A visit to Knowle Park — 
Description of the pictures and state apartments — Sevenoaks 
— Tunbridge Wells — A female oddity — The Pantiles — Mr. 
Wedderburn — A runaway match — Its miseries — Extra- 
ordinary child — Brighton — A character — A fascinating book- 
seller — Topham Beauclerk — Lady Di Beauclerk — Mrs. 
Musters — A mistake — Lady Pembroke — Scenes in a ball- 
room — How to put down impertinence — A provincial com- 
pany — Dry den's Tempest — Cumberland — Singular anecdotes 
of him — His hatred of all contemporary authors — Scene with 
him and Mrs. Thrale in a ball-room — A singular character 
— Table-talk — Mystification — A solemn coxcomb — Dr. 
Johnson — Sir Joshua Reynolds — Price of his portraits — 
Artists and actors — Garrick — Fifty pounds for a song — 
Learned ladies — Married life — A lordly brute — Physicians 
and patients — Single-speech Hamilton — The humours of a 
newspaper — Odd names — A long story — Letter from Miss 
Burney to Mr. Crisp — Character and objects of her Journal. 

Streatham, July 5. — I have hardly had any power 
to write, my dear Susy, since I left you, for my 



cold has increased so much that I have hardly been 
able to do anything. 

Mr. Thrale, I think, is better, and he was cheer- 
ful all the ride. Mrs. Thrale made as much of me 
as if the two days had been two months. 

I was heartily glad to see Dr. Johnson, and I 
believe he was not sorry to see me : he had inquired 
very much after me, and very particularly of Mrs. 
Thrale whether she loved me as well as she used 
to do. 

He is better in health than I have ever seen 
him before ; his journey has been very serviceable 
to him, 1 and he has taken very good resolutions to 
reform his diet ; — so has my daddy Crisp. I wish I 
could pit them one against the other, and see the 
effect of their emulation. 

I wished twenty times to have transmitted to 
paper the conversation of the evening, for Dr. 
Johnson was as brilliant as I have ever known him, 
—and that's saying something ; — but I was not 
very well, and could only attend to him for present 

July 10. — Since I wrote last, I have been far 
from well, — but I am now my own man again — 
a peu-pres. 

Very concise, indeed, must my journal grow, 
for I have now hardly a moment in my power to 
give it ; however, I will keep up its chain, and 
mark, from time to time, the general course of 

Sir Philip Jennings has spent three days here, 
at the close of which he took leave of us for the 
summer, and set out for his seat in Hampshire. 
We were all sorry to lose him ; he is a most 
comfortable man in society, for he is always the 
same — easy, good-humoured, agreeable, and well- 

1 He had been to Lichfield and Ashbourne, returning to London about 
the end of June. 


bred. He has made himself a favourite to the 
whole house, Dr. Johnson included, who almost 
always prefers the company of an intelligent man 
of the world to that of a scholar. 

Lady Ladd spent the day here last Sunday. 
Did I ever do her the justice to give you a sketch 
of her since I have been more acquainted with 
her than when I first did her that favour ? I think 

She is gay, even to levity, wholly uncultivated 
as to letters, but possesses a very good natural 
capacity, and a fund of humour and sport that 
makes her company far more entertaining than 
that of half the best - educated women in the 
kingdom. The pride I have mentioned never 
shows itself without some provocation, and where- 
ever she meets with respect, she returns it with 

In the course of the day she said to me in a 
whisper, "I had a gentleman with me yesterday 
who is crazy to see you, — and he teased me to 
bring him here with me, but I told him I could 
not till I had paved the way." 

I found, afterwards, that this gentleman is 
Mr. Edmund Phipps, a younger brother of Lord 
Mulgrave, and of the Harry Phipps Hetty danced 
with at Mr. Lalauze's masquerade. 1 Lady Ladd 
appointed the next Tuesday to bring him to 
dinner. As he is a particular favourite with Mrs. 
Thrale, her ladyship had no difficulty in gaining 
him admittance. 

I think times have come to a fine pass, if 
people are to come to Streatham with no better 

Well, — on Tuesday I was quite ill, — and 

1 See Early Diary, 1889, i. pp. 64-71. Mr. Lalauze was a French dancing 
master in Leicester Fields. This entertainment probably suggested the 
masquerade chapter in Book ii. of Cecilia. 


obliged to be blooded, — so I could not go down 
to dinner. 

Mr. Seward accompanied Lady Ladd and Mr. 
E. Phipps, and added to the provocation of my 

Lady Ladd and Mrs. Thrale both persuaded 
me to make my appearance, and as my head grew 
much easier, I thought it better so to do, than to 
increase a curiosity I was sure of disappointing, by 
any delay I had power to prevent. 

"You will like him, I daresay," said Mrs. 
Thrale, " for he is very like you." 

I heard afterwards that, when they returned to 
the parlour, Mr. Phipps, among other questions, 
asked, " Is she very pretty ? " 

iV.2?. — I wish there was no such question in 
the language. 

66 Very pretty ? — no," said Mrs. Thrale ; "but 
she is very like you. Do you think yourself very 
handsome, Mr. Phipps ? " 

M Pho ! " — cried he, — " I was in hopes she was 
like her own JEvelina." 

" No, no such thing," said Mrs. Thrale, " unless 
it is in timidity, but neither in beauty nor in 
ignorance of life." 

I am very glad this passed before I came down, — 
for else I think I should have struck him all of a heap. 

Now it's my turn to speak of him. 

He is very tall — not very like me in that, you'll 
say — very brown 1 — not very unlike me in that, 
you'll say ; for the rest, however, the compliment 
is all to me. 

I saw but little of him, as they all went about 
an hour after I came down ; but I had time to 
see that he is very sensible, very elegant in his 
manners, and very unaffected and easy. 

1 She is said to have been rather brown of complexion. (Cp. p. 182.) 


A propos to books, I have not been able to 
read Wraxall's Memoirs 1 yet — I wish Mrs. Ord 
had not lent them me ; and now Lady Ladd, too, 
has brought me two volumes, called Sketches from 
Nature, written by Mr. Keate. 2 What I have 
read of them repaid me nothing for the time 
they took up, — a mere and paltry imitation of 
Sterne's Sentimental Journey. 

July 20. — What a vile journalist do I grow ! — 
it is, however, all I can do to keep it at all going ; 
for, to let you a little into the nature of things, 
you must know my studies occupy almost every 
moment that I spend by myself. Dr. Johnson 
gives us a Latin lesson every morning. I pique 
myself somewhat upon being ready for him ; so 
that really, when the copying my play, 3 and the 
continual returning occurrences of every fresh 
day are considered, you will not wonder that I 
should find so little opportunity for scrawling 

What progress we may make in this most 
learned scheme I know not ; but, as I have 
always told you, I am sure I fag more for fear of 
disgrace than for hope of profit. To devote so 
much time to acquire something I shall always 
dread to have known, is really unpleasant enough, 
considering how many things there are I might 
employ myself in that would have no such draw- 
back. However, on the other side, I am both 
pleased and flattered that Dr. Johnson should 
think me worth inviting to be his pupil, and I 
shall always recollect with pride and with pleasure 
the instructions he has the goodness to give me : 

1 Memoirs of the Kings of France of the Race of Valois, 1777, his 
second book. 

2 George Keate, 1729-97. His Sketches from Nature, taken and 
coloured in a Journey to Margate, were published in 1779. They were 
on wood, and the text — as Miss Burney says — imitated Sterne. 

8 See ante, p. 215. 


so, since I cannot without dishonour alter matters, 
'tis as well to turn Frenchwoman, and take them 
in the tant mieucc fashion. 

A new light is of late thrown upon the death 

of poor Sophy P . Dr. Hervey, of Tooting, 

who attended her the day before she expired, is 
of opinion that she killed herself by quackery, 
that is, by cosmetics and preparations of lead or 
mercury, taken for her complexion, which, indeed, 
was almost unnaturally white. He thinks, there- 
fore, that this pernicious stuff got into her veins, 

and poisoned her. 1 Peggy P , nearly as white 

as her sister, is suspected strongly of using the 
same beautifying methods of destroying herself; 
but as Mrs. Thrale has hinted this suspicion to 
her, and charged her to take care of herself, we 
hope she will be frightened, and warned to her 
safety. Poor foolish girls ! how dearly do they 
pay for the ambition of being fairer than their 
neighbours ! I say they, for poor Peggy looks 
upon the point of death already. 

Yesterday Mrs. Vesey came hither to tea. I'm 
sure if Anstey saw her he would make an excep- 
tion to his assertion that " he never should see 
an old woman again ! " for she has the most 
wrinkled, sallow, time -beaten face I ever saw. 
She is an exceeding well-bred woman, and of 
agreeable manners ; but all her name in the world 
must, I think, have been acquired by her dexterity 
and skill in selecting parties, and by her address 
in rendering them easy with one another — an art, 

1 Crisp's friend, Lady Coventry (Maria Gunning), wife of the sixth 
Earl, 1733-60, is believed to have hastened her death in the same way. 

The " Sophy P " referred to, was apparently Miss Sophia Pitches, 

daughter of Sir Abraham Pitches, Knt. , of Streatham. Her sister Peggy, 
mentioned in the next sentence, oddly enough, afterwards married the 
seventh Earl of Coventry. See ante, p. 139, and also in volume vi., Mrs. 
Piozzi's letter to Madame D'Arblay of March 15, 1821, for further par- 
ticulars as to this family. 


however, that seems to imply no mean under- 

The breaking-up of our Spa journey my father 
has doubtless told you. The fears and dangers of 
being taken by the enemy, which prevented that 
journey, have proved to be but too well grounded, 
for Mrs. Vesey informed us that the Duchess of 
Leinster, Lady F. Campbell, and several others, 
Avere all actually taken by a French privateer, in 
crossing the sea in order to proceed to Spa. We 
have, however, heard that they are all safe and at 

Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

Friday, July 30, 1779. 

Now, my dear daddy, let me attempt some- 
thing like an answer to your two last most kind 

In the first place I have the pleasure to tell you 
that Mr. Thrale is as well as ever he was in health, 
though the alarming and terrible blow he so lately 
received, has, I fear, given a damp to his spirits 
that will scarce ever be wholly conquered. Yet he 
grows daily rather more cheerful ; but the shock 
was too rude and too cruel to be ever forgotten. 

I am not half so well satisfied with your account 
of yourself as I hoped to have been ; I fear you are 
not so steady in your intended reformation as to 
diet and exercise as you proposed being ? Dr. 
Johnson has made resolutions exactly similar to 
yours, and in general adheres to them with strict- 
ness, but the old Adam, as you say, stands in his 
way, as well as in his neighbours'. I wish I could 
pit you against each other, for the sake of both. 
Yet he professes an aversion to you, because he 
says he is sure you are very much in his way 
with me ! however, I believe you would neither 


of you retain much aversion if you had a fair 

I cannot tell you how kind I take your invita- 
tions to me. I had half feared I was to be left 
out of the scrape now ; and I am sure I should 
wish all my new friends at Jericho if their good- 
ness to me procured coldness, neglect, or suspicion 
from my old and deep-rooted ones. I will most 
certainly and thankfully contrive to accept your 
kind offer, and, if possible, when Mrs. Gast is with 
you, as that would be doubling my pleasure ; but 
you, my dear daddy, must let me know what time 
will be most convenient and comfortable to your- 
self for seeing me, and then I will manage matters 
as well as I can, to conform to it. 

All you say of the times made me shudder ; yet 
I was sure such would be your sentiments, for 
all that has happened you actually foresaw and 
represented to me in strong colours last spring — I 
mean in relation to the general decline of all trade, 
opulence, and prosperity. 

This seems a strange, unseasonable period for 
my undertaking, among the rest ; but yet, my dear 
daddy, when you have read my conversation with 
Mr. Sheridan, I believe you will agree that I must 
have been wholly insensible, nay, almost ungrate- 
ful, to resist encouragement such as he gave me — 
nay, more than encouragement, entreaties, all of 
which he warmly repeated to my father. 

Now, as to the play itself, I own I had wished 
to have been the bearer of it when I visit Chessing- 
ton ; but you seem so urgent, and my father 
himself is so desirous to carry it you, that I have 
given that plan up. 

Oh, my dear daddy, if your next letter were to 
contain your real opinion of it, how should I dread 
to open it ! Be, however, as honest as your good 
nature and delicacy will allow you to be, and 


assure yourself I shall be very certain that all your 
criticisms will proceed from your earnest wishes 
to obviate those of others, and that you would 
have much more pleasure in being my panegyrist. 

As to Mrs. Gast, I should be glad to know 
what I would refuse to a sister of yours. Make 
her, therefore, of your coterie, if she is with you 
while the piece is in your possession. 

And now let me tell you what I wish in regard 
to this affair. I should like that your first reading 
should have nothing to do with me — that you 
should go quick through it, or let my father read 
it to you — forgetting all the time, as much as you 
can, that Fannikin is the writer, or even that it is 
a play in manuscript, and capable of alterations ; — 
and then, when you have done, I should like to 
have three lines, telling me, as nearly as you can 
trust my candour, its general effect. After that 
take it to your own desk, and lash it at your 

Adieu, my dear daddy ! I shall hope to hear 
from you very soon, and pray believe me, yours ever 
and ever, Frances Burney. 

P.S. — Let it fail never so much, the manager 
will have nothing to reproach me with : is not that 
a comfort ? He would really listen to no denial. 

Miss F. Burney to Dr. Burney 

The fatal knell, then, is knolled, and "down 
among the dead men " sink the poor Witlings — for 
ever, and for ever, and for ever ! 

I give a sigh, whether I will or not, to their 
memory ! for, however worthless, they were mes 
enfans, and one must do one's nature, as Mr. 
Crisp will tell you of the dog. 


You, my dearest sir, who enjoyed, I really 
think, even more than myself, the astonishing 
success of my first attempt, would, I believe, even 
more than myself, be hurt at the failure of my 
second ; and I am sure I speak from the bottom of 
a very honest heart, when I most solemnly declare, 
that upon your account any disgrace would mortify 
and afflict me more than upon my own ; for what- 
ever appears with your knowledge, will be naturally 
supposed to have met with your approbation, and, 
perhaps, your assistance ; therefore, though all par- 
ticular censure would fall where it ought — upon 
me — yet any general censure of the whole, and the 
plan, would cruelly, but certainly involve you in 
its severity. 

Of this I have been sensible from the moment 
my " authorshipness " was discovered, and, there- 
fore, from that moment I determined to have no 
opinion of my own in regard to what I should 
thenceforth part with out of my own hands. I 
would long since have burnt the fourth act, upon 
your disapprobation of it, but that I waited, and 
was by Mrs. Thrale so much encouraged to wait, 
for your finishing the piece. 

You have finished it now in every sense of the 
word. Partial faults may be corrected ; but what 
I most wished was, to know the general effect of 
the whole ; and as that has so terribly failed, all 
petty criticisms would be needless. I shall wipe 
it all from my memory, and endeavour never to 
recollect that I ever wrote it. 

You bid me open my heart to you, — and so, 
my dearest sir, I will, for it is the greatest happi- 
ness of my life that I dare be sincere to you. I 
expected many objections to be raised — a thousand 
errors to be pointed out — and a million of altera- 
tions to be proposed ; but the suppression of the 
piece were words I did not expect ; indeed, after 

vol. i s 



the warm approbation of Mrs. Thrale, and the re- 
peated commendations and flattery of Mr. Murphy, 
how could I ? 

I do not, therefore, pretend to wish you should 
think a decision, for which I was so little prepared, 
has given me no disturbance ; for I must be a far 
more egregious witling than any of those I tried to 
draw, to imagine you could ever credit that I wrote 
without some remote hope of success now — though 
I literally did when I composed Evelina ! 

But my mortification is not at throwing away 
the characters, or the contrivance; — it is all at 
tli rowing away the time, — which I with difficulty 
stole, and which I have buried in the mere trouble 
of writing. 

What my daddy Crisp says, " that it would be 
the best policy, but for pecuniary advantages, for 
me to write no more," is exactly what I have 
always thought since Evelina was published. But 
I will not now talk of putting it in practice, — for 
the best way I can take of showing that I have a 
true and just sense of the spirit of your condemna- 
tion, is not to sink sulky and dejected under it, but 
to exert myself to the utmost of my power in 
endeavours to produce something less reprehen- 
sible. And this shall be the way I will pursue as 
soon as my mind is more at ease about Hetty and 
Mrs. Thrale, and as soon as I have read myself into 
a forgetful ness of my old dramatis persona? — lest 
I should produce something else as witless as the 

Adieu, my dearest, kindest, truest, best friend. 
I will never proceed so far again without your 
counsel, and then I shall not only save myself so 
much useless trouble, but you, who so reluctantly 
blame, the kind pain which I am sure must attend 
your disapprobation. The world will not always 
go well, as Mrs. Sapient might say, and I am sure 


I have long thought I have had more than my 
share of success already. 

I expect another disappointment to follow, i.e. — 
that of the Spa journey ; for I believe poor Mrs. 
Thrale will not be able to go anywhere ; but I 
must get in practice with a little philosophy, and 
then make myself amends for all evils by a con- 
ceited notion of bearing them well. 

Once more, adieu, dearest sir ! and never may 
my philosophy be put to the test of seeing any 
abatement of true kindness from you, — for that 
would never be decently endured by your own, 

Frances Burney. 1 

Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

Well ! " there are plays that are to be saved, 
and plays that are not to be saved!" 2 so good 
night, Mr. Dabbler ! — good-night, Lady Smatter, 
—Mrs. Sapient, —Mrs. Voluble, — Mrs. Wheedle, 
— Censor, — Cecilia, — Beaufort, and you, you great 
oaf, Bobby ! — good-night ! good-night ! 

And good- morning, Miss Fanny Burney ! — I 
hope now you have opened your eyes for some 
time, and will not close them in so drowsy a fit 
again — at least till the full of the moon. 

I won't tell you I have been absolutely ravie 
with delight at the fall of the curtain ; but I 
intend to take the affair in the tant mieuoc manner, 
and to console myself for your censure by this 
greatest proof I have ever received of the sincerity, 
candour, and, let me add, esteem, of my dear daddy. 

1 The following was appended to this letter, in the handwriting of Miss 
Burney, at a subsequent period. "The objection of Mr. Crisp to 
the MS. play of The Witlings, was its resemblance to Moliere's Femmes 
Sgavantes, and consequent immense inferiority. It is, however, a curious 
fact, and to the author a consolatory one, that she had literally never read 
the Femmes Scavantes when she composed The Witlings. " [ Mrs. Barrett's 

2 A variation of Cassio's speech in Othello, Act II. Sc. iii. 


And as I happen to love myself rather more than 
my play, this consolation is not a very trifling one. 

As to all you say of my reputation and so forth, 
1 perceive the kindness of your endeavours to put 
me in humour with myself, and prevent my taking 
huff, which, if I did, I should deserve to receive, 
upon any future trial, hollow praise from you, — 
and the rest from the public. 

As to the MS., I am in no hurry for it. Be- 
sides, it ought not to come till I have prepared an 
ovation, and the honours of conquest for it. 

The only bad thing in this affair, is, that I 
cannot take the comfort of my poor friend 
Dabbler, 1 by calling you a crabbed fellow, because 
you write with almost more kindness than ever ; 
neither can I (though I try hard) persuade myself 
that you have not a grain of taste in your whole 

This, however, seriously I do believe, that when 
my two daddies put their heads together to concert 
for me that hissing, groaning, catcalling epistle 
they sent me, they felt as sorry for poor little Miss 
Bayes as she could possibly do for herself. 

You see I do not attempt to repay your frank- 
ness with the art of pretended carelessness. But 
though somewhat disconcerted just now, I will 
promise not to let my vexation live out another 
day. I shall not browse upon it,— but, on the 
contrary, drive it out of my thoughts, by filling 
them up with things almost as good of other 

Our Hettina is much better ; but pray don't 
keep Mr. B. beyond Wednesday, for Mrs. Thrale 
makes a point of my returning to Streatham on 
Tuesday, unless, which God forbid, poor Hetty 
should be worse again. 

Adieu, my dear daddy, I won't be mortified, 

1 A character in The Witlings. See above, p. 259. 


and I won't be downed, — but I will be proud to 
find I have, out of my own family, as well as in it, 
a friend who loves me well enough to speak plain 
truth to me. 

Always do thus, and always you shall be tried by, 
your much obliged and most affectionate, 

Frances Burney. 

Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

My dear Fannikin — I have known half a 
letter filled up with recapitulating the tedious 
and very particular reasons why and wherefore, 
etc. etc. etc., it was not sent before. — I don't like 
the example, and shall not follow it. — I will 
only tell you that I have been far from well. I 
should not say thus much, but from an anxious 
care lest a Fannikin should think I am supine in 
anything that relates either to her interest or 
fame. Thus much for preface. 

Your other daddy (who hardly loves you better 
than I do) I understand has written you his senti- 
ments on the subject of your last letter. I cannot 
but be of the same opinion ; and have too sincere 
a regard for you not to declare it. This sincerity 
I have smarted for, and severely too, ere now ; 1 
and yet, happen what will (where those I love are 
concerned) I am determined never to part with it. 
All the world (if you will believe them) profess to 
expect it, to demand it, to take it kindly, thank- 
fully, etc. etc.; and yet how few are generous 
enough to take it as it is meant ! — it is imputed to 
envy, ill-will, a desire of lowering, and certainly to 
a total want of taste. Is not this, by vehement 
importunity, to draw your very entrails from you, 

1 A reference, more or less obscure, to the partial success of Crisp's 
tragedy of Virginia, 1754. 


and then to give them a stab ? — On this topic I 
find I have, ere I was aware, grown warm ; but I 
have been a sufferer. 1 My plain-dealing (after the 
most earnest solicitations, professions, and pro- 
testations) irrecoverably lost me Garrick. But 
his soul was little ! — Greville, 2 for a while, be- 
came my enemy, though afterwards, through his 
constitutional inconstancy, he became more at- 
tached than before ; and since that time, through 
absence, whim, and various accidents, all is (I 
thank Fortune) dwindled to nothing. 

How have I wandered ! I should never have 
thought aloud in this manner, if I had not perfectly 
known the make and frame of a Fannikin's inmost 
soul ; and by this declaration I give her the most 
powerful proof I am capable of, how highly I think 
of her generosity and understanding. 

Now then, to the point — I have considered as 
well as I am able, what you state as Mrs. Thrale's 
idea — of new modelling the play ; and I observe 
what you say, that the pursuing this project is the 
only chance you have of bringing out anything 
this year, and that with hard fagging perhaps you 
might do that. I agree with you, that for this 
year you say true ; but, my dear Fanny, dont talk 
of hard fagging. It was not hard fagging that 
produced such a work as Evelina ! — it was the 
ebullition of true sterling genius — you wrote it 
because you could not help it — it came, and so 
you put it down on paper. Leave fagging and 
labour to him 

Who, high in Drury Lane, 
Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, 
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, 
Compell'd by hunger and request of friends. 8 

1 Another reference to Virginia. 

2 Fulke Greville, of Wilbury House, Wilts, an early friend of Crisp and 
Dr. Burney. His wife, ne'e Frances Macartney, was Fanny's godmother. 

3 Pope's Epistle to Arbuthnot, 1735, 11. 41-44. 


Tis not sitting down to a desk with pen, ink, 
and paper, that will command inspiration. 

Having now so frankly spoke my mind on the 
present production, concerning which I am sorry 
and ashamed to differ from much wiser heads than 
my own, I shall acquaint you with a fancy of mine. 
Your daddy doctor related to me something of an 
account you had given him of a most ridiculous 
family in your present neighbourhood, which, even 
in the imperfect manner he described it, struck me 
most forcibly — the . . . He says you gave it him 
with so much humour, such painting, such descrip- 
tion, such fun, that in your mouth it was a perfect 
comedy. He described (from you) some of the 
characters, and a general idea of the act. I was 
quite animated — there seemed to me an inexhaust- 
ible fund of matter for you to work on, and the 
follies of the folks of so general a nature as to 
furnish you with a profusion of what you want, 
to make out a most spirited, witty, moral, useful 
comedy, without descending to the invidious and 
cruel practice of pointing out individual characters, 
and holding them up to public ridicule. Nothing 
can be more general than the reciprocal follies of 
parents and children — few subjects more striking — 
they, if well drawn, will seize the attention, and 
interest the feelings of all sorts, high and low. In 
short, I was delighted with the idea. The pro- 
ceedings of this family, as he gave them, seemed so 
preposterous, so productive of bad consequences, 
so ludicrous besides, that their whole conduct might 
be termed the right road to go wrong. 

Your daddy doctor talks of Mrs. Thrale's coming 
over to this place, to fetch back him and madam. 
Cannot you prevail on her to drop you here for a 
little while ? I long to have a good talk with you, 
as the Cherokees call it — I cannot by letter say 
my say — my say, look ye, Fanny, is honest — and that 


is something ; and I think is merit enough in these 
evil days to incline you now and then to turn your 
ear my way. — I am your loving daddy, S. C. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 1 

Chessington, August 24. 

Here at length we are — arrived just in time to 
witness poor Daddy Crisp's misery upon receiving 
intelligence of our late very dreadful loss. 2 Good 
heaven, what a terrible blow ! our prophet here, 
who, however, is always a croaking prophet, fore- 
tells nothing but utter destruction for its inevitable 
consequence. You, dearest madam, who are as 
croaking a prophetess, what say you ? must 
Jamaica, must all the West Indies be lost? or 
have you some words of comfort to give us ? 

Baretti met Mr. Greville 3 and Mr. Sastris 4 at 
our house the evening before we left town, and 
assured us peremptorily, and with furious vehe- 
mence, that the war would be finished in another 
year, and France, Spain, and America, would make 
what terms we pleased ! Perhaps, as he found 
everybody else forboding ill, he thought it some- 
thing for the benefit of mankind to forebode good : 
but you would have laughed to have seen the little 
respect he paid to the opposition and opinions of 
the great Mr. Greville, the arrogance with which 
he " downed " whatever he advanced, and the fury 
with which he answered him when contradicted in 
his assertions. I really expected every moment to 
hear him exclaim, " It is that you are an impene- 

1 This letter was placed either by Mrs. Barrett or Madame D'Arblay 
under 1780. It is probably more accurately inserted here. 

2 This must have been the " loss of the Grenadas " referred to by Mrs. 
Thrale in the letter that follows. Grenada surrendered unconditionally to 
D'Estaing at the beginning of July 1779. 

3 Fulke Greville. See ante, p. 262. 

4 Signor Sastres was an Italian master. 


trable blockhead " ; — and I could not get out of my 
head the rage with which Mr. Greville would have 
heard such a compliment. As it was, the astonish- 
ment that seized him when he saw the violence 
and contempt of Baretti, was sufficiently comical ; 
he had never before spoken a word to him, though 
he had accidentally met with him, and I fancy he 
expected, by his tonish grandeur, to have instantly 
silenced and intimidated him : but when he found 
Baretti stout, and that the more he resisted, the 
more he bullied him, he could only stare, and look 
around at us all, with an expression that said, 
" Am I awake ? " 

We had one very pleasant day last week with 
our dear Dr. Johnson, who dined with us, and met 
Mr. Barry, 1 Dr. Dunbar, and Dr. Gillies, 2 and 
afterwards Mr. Crofts, the famous book collector, 
Mr. Sastris, Mrs. Reynolds, Mr. Devaynes, 3 and 
Baretti, and altogether we made it out very well. 
But Dr. Johnson took the same dislike to poor Dr. 
Gillies that you did. What he can have done to 
you both I cannot imagine, for everybody else 
likes him mightily. I had a good mind to have 
asked Miss Reynolds to conjecture the reason of 
your aversion, for that would have been a happy 
subject for her to have pondered upon. Dr. 
Johnson was very sweet and very delightful indeed ; 
I think he grows more and more so, or at least, I 
grow more and more fond of him. I really believe 

1 James Barry, 1741-1806. He was at this time decorating the Great 
or Meeting-room of the Society of Arts with a series of historical and 
allegorical pictures. Into one of these, which is emblematical of " Navi- 
gation; or, the Triumph of the Thames," he whimsically introduced a like- 
ness of Dr. Burney, in a queue and tye-wig, surrounded by water-nymphs, 
and personifying music (see A Note on the Pictures, etc. 1880, by Sir H. 
Trueman Wood, Secretary to the Society). Barry could never be per- 
suaded of the impropriety of this portrait. 

2 Dr. John Gillies, 1747-1836, author of the History of Ancient Greece, 
etc., 1786. In 1793 George III. made him Historiographer-Royal for 

3 Mr. Devaynes — " that ever-cheerful companion," Johnson calls him — 
was apothecary to George III. (Hill's Boswell, 1887, iv. 273). 


Mr. Barry found him almost as amusing as a fit of 
the toothache ! 

Don't fear my opening my lips, my dear madam, 
about your letters ; I never read but scraps and 
chosen morsels to anybody, — and I hope you do 
the same by me ; for though what I have to say is 
not of equal consequence, my flippancies, which 
I rather indulge than curb to you, might do me 
mischief should they run about. I have not seen 
Piozzi : he left me your letter, which indeed is a 
charming one ; though its contents puzzled me 
much whether to make me sad or merry. Who is 
your dwarf ? — Your fan gentleman is after my own 
heart. I am glad you find comfort in Dr. Delap. 
I beg my best compliments to him,— and to my 
master and missey, — and believe me ever and most 
faithfully yours, ' F. B. 

My father's best love to you, and my daddy's 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 1 

Streatham, Saturday. 

iMv dear Miss Burney — And so here comes 
your sweet letter. And so I pleased Mr. Crisp, 
did I ? and yet he never heard, it seems, the only 
good things I said, which were very earnest, and 
very honest, and very pressing invitations to him, 
to see Streatham nearer than through the telescope. 
Now, that he did not hear all this was your 
fault, mademoiselle ; for you told me that Mr. 
Crisp was old, and Mr. Crisp was infirm ; and, if I 

1 This letter was placed either by Mrs. Barrett or Madame D'Arblay 
at the head of the letters of 1781. As it speaks of Chamier, who had 
died in October 1780, this is obviously incorrect. From the references to 
the battle of July 6, between Byron and D'Estaing, news of which reached 
England early in September 1779, it was probably written in that month 
and year, in reply to the letter from Miss Burney which preceded it. 


had found those things so, I should have spoken 
louder, and concluded him to be deaf : but, finding 
him very amiable, and very elegant, and very polite 
to me, and very unlike an old man, I never thought 
about his being deaf; and, perhaps, was a little 
coquettish too, in my manner of making the invita- 
tion. I now repeat it, however, and give it under 
my hand, that I should consider such a visit as a 
very, very great honour, and so would Mr. Thrale. 

And now for dismal ! 

I have been seriously ill ever since I saw you. 
Mrs. Burney 1 has been to me a kind and useful 
friend, — has suffered me to keep her here all this 
time — is here still — would not go to Sir Joshuas, 
though she was asked, because I could not ; and 
has been as obliging, and as attentive, and as good 
to me as possible. Dick is happy, 2 and rides out 
with my master, and his mamma and 1 look at 
them out of the dressing-room window. So much 
for self. 

In the midst of my own misery I felt for my 
dear Mrs. Byron's ; but Chamier has relieved that 
anxiety by assurances that the Admiral behaved 
quite unexceptionably, and that, as to honour in 
the West Indies, all goes well. The Grenadas 
are a heavy loss indeed, nor is it supposed possible 
for Byron to protect Barbadoes and Antigua. 
Barrington 3 has acted a noble part ; he and 
Count d'Estaing remind one of the heroic con- 
tentions of distant times. The Lyon, on our side, 
commanded by a Welshman, 4 and the Languedoc, 
on the side of the French, fought with surprising 
fury, and lost a great number of men ; it was a 
glorious day, though on our side unfortunate. 

1 Evidently Fanny's step-mother, who was staying at Streatham. 

2 Fanny's half-brother, Richard Thomas Burney. 

3 Vice-Admiral Samuel Barrington, 1729-1800, second in command at 
Grenada. He brought Admiral Byron's despatches to England. 

4 Captain (afterwards Sir William) Cornwallis, 1744-1819. 


D'Orvilliers has left our Channel after only 
cutting a few ships out of Torbay, and chasing 
Sir Charles 1 to Spithead. Many suppose the home 
campaign quite over for this year. 

I have had very kind letters from Dr. Delap. 
I love the Sussex people somehow, and they are a 
mighty silly race too. But 'tis never for their 
wisdom that one loves the wisest, or for their wit 
that one loves the wittiest ; 'tis for benevolence, 
and virtue, and honest fondness, one loves people ; 
the other qualities make one proud of loving them 

Dear, sweet, kind Burney, adieu ; whether sick 
or sorry, ever yours, H. L. T. 

Brighthelmsto7ie, Oct, 12. — As you say you will 
accept memorandums in default of journals, my 
dear Susy, I will scrawl down such things as most 
readily recur to my remembrance, and, when I get 
to the present time, I will endeavour to be less 
remiss in my accounts. 

Sunday, — We had Lady Ladd at Streatham ; 
she did not leave us till the next day. She and I 
are grown most prodigious friends. She is really 
so entertaining and lively, that it is not often 
possible to pass time more gaily than in her 

Mr. Stephen Fuller, the sensible, but deaf old 
gentleman I have formerly mentioned, 2 dined here 

also ; as did Mr. R , whose trite, settled, tonish 

emptiness of discourse is a never-failing source of 
laughter and diversion. 

" Well, I say, what, Miss Burney, so you had 
a very good party last Tuesday ? — what we call 
the family party — in that sort of way ? 3 Pray who 
had you ? " 

1 Sir Charles Hardy, 1716-80, Commander of the Channel Fleet. 

2 See ante, p. 131. 

3 This indicates that " Mr. R." is Mr. Rose Fuller. See ante, p. 131. 


" Mr. Chamier." l 

" Mr. Chamier, ay ? Give me leave to tell you, 
Miss Burney, that Mr. Chamier is what we call a 
very sensible man ! " 

" Certainly. And Mr. Pepys." 

" Mr. Pepys ? Ay, very good — very good in 
that sort of way. I'm quite sorry I could not be 
here ; but I was so much indisposed — quite what 
we call the nursing party." 

" I'm very sorry ; but I hope little Sharp 2 is 

" Ma'am, your most humble ! you're a very good 
lady, * indeed ! — quite what we call a good lady ! 
Little Sharp is perfectly well : that sort of atten- 
tion, and things of that sort, — the bow-wow system 
is very well. But pray, Miss Burney, give me 
leave to ask, in that sort of way, had you anybody 
else ? " 

" Yes, Lady Ladd and Mr. Seward." 

"So, so ! — quite the family system ! Give me 
leave to tell you, Miss Burney, this commands 
attention ! — what we call a respectable invitation ! 
I am sorry I could not come, indeed ; for we young 
men, Miss Burney, we make it what we call a sort 
of a rule to take notice of this sort of attention. 
But I was extremely indisposed, indeed — what we 

call the walnut system had quite Pray what's 

the news, Miss Burney ? — in that sort of way — is 
there any news ? " 

" None, that I have heard. Have you heard 

"Why, very bad! — very bad, indeed! — quite 
what we call poor old England ! I was told, in 
town, — fact — fact, I assure you — that these Dons 
intend us an invasion this very month ! — they and 

1 Anthony Chamier, 1725-80, an original member of the Literary Club. 
He was, at this date, M.P. for Tamworth, F.R.S., and Under-Secretary 
of State for War. 

2 Mr. Rose Fuller's dog. See ante, p. 130. 


the Monsieurs intend us the respectable salute this 
very month ; — the powder system, in that sort of 
way ! Give me leave to tell you, Miss Burney, 
this is what we call a disagreeable visit, in that sort 
of way." 

I think, if possible, his language looks more 
absurd upon paper even than it sounds in conver- 
sation, from the perpetual recurrence of the same 
words and expressions. 

On Tuesday Mr., Mrs., Miss Thrale, and "yours, 
ma'am, yours," set out on their expedition. The 
day was very pleasant, and the journey delightful ; 
but that which chiefly rendered it so was Mr. 
Thrale's being apparently the better for- it. 

I need not tell you how sweet a county for 
travelling is Kent, as you know it so well. We 
stopped at Sevenoaks, which is a remarkably well- 
situated town ; and here, while dinner was pre- 
paring, my kind and sweet friends took me to 
Knowle, 1 though they had seen it repeatedly them- 

The park, which, it seems, is seven miles in 
circumference, and has, as the gamekeeper told us, 
700 head of deer in it, is laid out in a most beautiful 
manner, — nearly, I think, equal to Hagley, as far 
as belongs to the disposition of the trees, hills, 
dales, etc., though, in regard to temples, obelisks, or 
any sort of buildings, it will bear no comparison to 
that sweet place, since nothing is there of that sort. 

The house, which is very old, has the appearance 
of an antique chapel, or rather cathedral. Two 
immense gates and two courtyards precede the 
entrance into the dwelling part of the house ; the 
windows are all of the small old casements ; and 
the general air of the place is monastic and gloomy. 
It was begun to be built, as the housekeeper told 

1 Knole Park, Kent, the seat of John Frederick Sackville, third Duke 
of Dorset, 1745-99. 


us, in the reign of Henry II., by Thomas a Becket, 
but the modern part was finished in the time of 

The Duke of Dorset was not there himself; but 
we were prevented seeing the library, and two or 
three other modernised rooms, because Madlle. 
Bacelli was not to be disturbed. The house, how- 
ever, is so magnificently large, that we only coveted 
to see that part of it which was hung with pictures. 
Three state-rooms, however, were curious enough. 
One of them had been fitted up by an " Earle of 
Dorsete," for the bed-chamber of King James I. 
when upon a visit at Knowle : it had all the gloomy 
grandeur and solemn finery of that time. The 
second state-room a later earl had fitted up for 
James II. The two Charleses either never honoured 
Knowle with their presence, or else condescended 
to sleep in their father and grandfather's bed. 
Well, this James II. 's room was more superb 
than his predecessors' — flaming with velvet, tissue, 
tapestry, and what not. But the third state-room 
was magnificence itself : it was fitted up for King 
William. The bed - curtains, tester, quilt, and 
valance were all of gold flowers, worked upon a 
silver ground : its value, even in those days, was 
£7000. The table, a superb cabinet, frame of the 
looking-glass, and all the ornaments, and, I believe, 
all the furniture in the room, were of solid massive 
silver, curiously embossed. Nothing could be more 

But to leave all this show, and come to what is 
a thousand times more interesting — the pictures, 
of which there is, indeed, a delicious collection. 
I could have spent a day in looking at every room, 
and yet have longed to see them again. I can, 
however, give a very imperfect and lame account 
of them, as we were so hurried by the housekeeper 
from room to room, and I was so anxious to miss 


nothing, that the merely glancing over so many 
beautiful paintings has only left a faint remem- 
brance in my head of each particular picture, though 
a very strong and deep impression of the pleasure 
they at the time afforded me. 

Among such as just now occur to me were 
a Lucretia with a dagger, a large whole-length, 
by Guido, extremely beautiful, purchased by the 
present duke in Italy ; a Madonna and Child, small 
size, by Raphael, so lovely I could not turn from 
it till called repeatedly ; a Virgin, by Carlo Dolci, 
that was irresistibly attractive ; a Raphael, by him- 
self, that was noble ; landscapes, by Poussin, and one 
or two by Claude Lorraine, that were enchanting. 

There are several pictures by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, and though mixed with those of the 
best old painters, they are so bewitching, and 
finished in a style of taste, colouring, and expres- 
sion, so like their companions, that it is not, at 
first view, easy to distinguish the new from the 
old. The celebrated Ugolino family is almost too 
horrible to be looked at, yet I was glad to see it 
again ; Two Beggar-boys make an exceedingly 
pleasing picture ; the Duke himself, by Sir Joshua, 
among the portraits of his own family, in a state- 
room, is, I think, by no means a likeness to flatter 
his Grace's vanity. One room is appropriated to 
artists, and among them three are by Sir Joshua. 
— Dr. Johnson, Dr. Goldsmith, and Sacchini, — all 
charmingly done, and the two I know extremely 

We dined very comfortably at Sevenoaks, and 
thence made but one stage to Tunbridge. It was 
so dark when we went through the town that I 
could see it very indistinctly. The Wells, how- 
ever, are about seven miles yet farther, — so that 
we saw that night nothing ; but I assure you, I 
felt that I was entering into a new country 


pretty roughly, for the roads were so sidelum and 

jumblum, as Miss L called those of Teign- 

mouth, that I expected an overturn every minute. 
Safely, however, we reached the Sussex Hotel, at 
Tunbridge Wells. 

Having looked at our rooms, and arranged our 
affairs, we proceeded to Mount Ephraim, where 
Miss Streatfield resides. We found her with only 
her mother, and spent the evening there. 

Mrs. Streatfield is very — very little, but per- 
fectly well made, thin, genteel, and delicate. She 
has been quite beautiful, and has still so much 
of beauty left, that to call it only the remains of a 
fine face seems hardly doing her justice. She is 
very lively, and an excellent mimic, and is, I think, 
as much superior to her daughter in natural 
gifts as her daughter is to her in acquired ones : 
and how infinitely preferable are parts without 
education to education without parts ! 

The fair S. S. is really in higher beauty than I 
have ever yet seen her ; and she was so caressing, 
so soft, so amiable, that I felt myself insensibly 
inclining to her with an affectionate regard. " If 
it was not for that little gush," as Dr. Delap 
said, 1 I should certainly have taken a very great 
fancy to her : but tears so ready — oh, they blot 
out my fair opinion of her ! Yet whenever I am 
with her, I like, nay, almost love her, for her 
manners are exceedingly captivating ; but when 
I quit her, I do not find that she improves by 
being thought over — no, nor talked over ; for Mrs. 
Thrale, who is always disposed to half adore her 
in her presence, can never converse about her 
without exciting her own contempt by recapitu- 
lating what has passed. This, however, must 
always be certain, whatever may be doubtful, that 
she is a girl in no respect like any other. 

1 See ante, p. 240. 


But I have not yet done with the mother : I 
have told you of her vivacity and her mimicry, 
but her character is yet not half told. She has 
a kind of whimsical conceit, and odd affectation, 
that, joined to a very singular sort of humour, 
makes her always seem to be rehearsing some 
scene in a comedy. She takes off, if she mentions 
them, all her own children, and, though she quite 
adores them, renders them ridiculous with all her 
power. She laughs at herself for her smallness 
and for her vagaries, just with the same ease and 
ridicule as if she were speaking of some other 
person ; and, while perpetually hinting at being old 
and broken, she is continually frisking, flaunting, 
and playing tricks, like a young coquette. 

When I was introduced to her by Mrs. Thrale, 
who said, "Give me leave, ma'am, to present to 
you a friend of your daughter's — Miss Burney," 
she advanced to me with a tripping pace, and, 
taking one of my fingers, said, "Allow me, 
ma'am, will you, to create a little acquaintance 
with you." 

And, indeed, I readily entered into an alliance 
with her, for I found nothing at Tunbridge half 
so entertaining, except, indeed, Miss Birch, of 
whom hereafter. 

The next morning the S. S. breakfasted with 
us ; and then they walked about to show me the 

The Sussex Hotel, where we lived, is situated 
at the side of the Pantiles, or public walk, so 
called because paved with pantiles ; it is called so 
also, like the long room at Hampstead, because it 
would be difficult to distinguish it by any other 
name ; for it has no beauty in itself, and borrows 
none from foreign aid, as it has only common 
houses at one side, and little millinery and 
Tunbridge- ware shops at the other, and at each 







V V 































end is choked up by buildings that intercept 
all prospect. How such a place could first be 
made a fashionable pleasure-walk, everybody must 

Tunbridge Wells is a place that to me appeared 
very singular : the country is all rock, and every 
part of it is either up or down hill, scarce ten 
yards square being level ground in the whole 
place : the houses, too, are scattered about in a 
strange wild manner, and look as if they had been 
dropped where they stand by accident, for they 
form neither streets nor squares, but seem strewed 
promiscuously, except, indeed, where the shop- 
keepers live, who have got two or three dirty 
little lanes, much like dirty little lanes in other 

Mrs. Streatfield and I increased our intimacy 
marvellously. She gave me the name of "the 
dove," for what reason I cannot guess, except it 
be that the dove has a sort of greenish grey 
eye, 1 something like mine ; be that as it may, 
she called me nothing else while I stayed at 

In the evening we all went to the rooms. 
The rooms, as they are called, consisted, for this 
evening, of only one apartment, as there was not 
company enough to make more necessary, and a 
very plain, unadorned, and ordinary apartment 
that was. 

There were very few people, but among them 
Mr. Wedderburne, the Attorney -General. You 
may believe I rather wished to shrink from him, 
if you recollect what Mrs. Thrale said of him, 
among the rest of the Tunbridge coterie last 

1 Dr. Delany, it may be remembered, found the same characteristics 
in his second wife. She had "what Solomon calls dove's eyes," he 


season, who discussed Evelina regularly every 
evening, and that he, siding with Mrs. Montagu, 
cut up the Branghtons, and had, as well as Mrs. 
Montagu, almost a quarrel with Mrs. Greville 
upon the subject, because she so warmly vindi- 
cated, or rather applauded, them. Lady Louisa, 
however, I remember he spoke of with very high 
praise, as Mrs. Montagu did of the Dedication ; 
and if such folks can find anything to praise, I 
find myself amply recompensed for their censures, 
especially when they censure what I cannot regret 
writing, since it is the part most favoured by Dr. 

Mr. Wedderburne joined us immediately. Mrs. 
Thrale presently said, "Mr. Wedderburne, 1 I 
must present my daughter to you, — and Miss 

I curtsied mighty gravely, and shuffled to the 
other end of the party. 

Amongst the company, I was most struck with 

the Hon. Mrs. W , lately Miss T . She 

ran away with a Mr. W , a man nearly old 

enough to be her father, and of most notorious 
bad character, both as a sharper and a libertine. 
This wretch was with her — a most hackneyed, 
ill-looking object as I ever saw ; and the foolish 
girl, who seems scarce sixteen, and looks a raw 
school-girl, has an air of so much discontent, and 
seems in a state of such dismal melancholy, that 
it was not possible to look at her without com- 
passionating a folly she has so many years to live 
regretting. I would not wish a more striking 
warning to be given to other such forward, 
adventurous damsels, than to place before them 
this miserable runaway, who has not only disgraced 

1 Alexander Wedderburn, 1733-1805, afterwards Baron Loughborough, 
and first Earl of Rosslyn. At this date he was Attorney-General. He 
is supposed to have been chiefly instrumental in obtaining Johnson's 
pension in 1762. 


her family, and enraged her friends, but rendered 
herself a repentant mourner for life. 

The next morning we had the company of two 
young ladies at breakfast — the S. S. and a Miss 
Birch, a little girl but ten years old, whom the 
S. S. invited, well foreseeing how much we should 
all be obliged to her. 

This Miss Birch is a niece of the charming 
Mrs. Pleydell, and so like her that I should have 
taken her for her daughter, yet she is not, now, 
quite so handsome ; but as she will soon know how 
to display her beauty to the utmost advantage, I 
fancy, in a few years, she will yet more resemble 
her lovely and most bewitching aunt. Everybody, 
she said, tells her how like she is to her aunt 

As you, therefore, have seen that sweet woman, 
only imagine her ten years old, and you will see 
her sweet niece. Nor does the resemblance rest 
with the person ; she sings like her, laughs 
like her, talks like her, caresses like her, and 
alternately softens and animates just like her. 
Her conversation is not merely like that of a 
woman already, but like that of a most un- 
commonly informed, cultivated, and sagacious 
woman ; and at the same time that her under- 
standing is thus wonderfully premature, she can, 
at pleasure, throw off all this rationality, and make 
herself a mere playful, giddy, romping child. One 
moment, with mingled gravity and sarcasm, she 
discusses characters, and the next, with schoolgirl 
spirits, she jumps round the room ; then, suddenly, 
she asks, " Do you know such, or such a song ? " 
and instantly, with mixed grace and buffoonery, 
singles out an object, and sings it ; and then, 
before there has been time to applaud her, she 
runs into the middle of the room, to try some new 


step in a dance ; and after all this, without waiting 
till her vagaries grow tiresome, she flings herself, 
with an affectionate air, upon somebody's lap, and 
there, composed and thoughtful, she continues 
quiet till she again enters into rational conversa- 

Her voice is really charming — infinitely the 
most powerful, as well as sweet, I ever heard at her 
age. Were she well and constantly taught, she 
might, I should think, do anything, — for, two or 
three Italian songs, which she learnt out of only 
five months' teaching by Parsons, 1 she sung like 
a little angel, with respect to taste, feeling, and 
expression ; but she now learns of nobody, and 
is so fond of French songs, for the sake, she says, 
of the sentiment, that I fear she will have her 
wonderful abilities all thrown away. Oh, how I 
wish my father had the charge of her ! 

She has spent four years out of her little life in 
France, which has made her distractedly fond of 
the French operas, " Rose et Colas," " Annette et 
Lubin," 2 etc., and she told us the story quite 
through of several I never heard of, always sing- 
ing the sujet when she came to the airs, and 
comically changing parts in the duets. She speaks 
French with the same fluency as English, and 
every now and then, addressing herself to the 
S. S. — " Que je vous adore!" — " Ah, permettez 
que je me mette a vos pieds ! " etc., with a dying 
languor that was equally laughable and lovely. 

When I found, by her taught songs, what a 
delightful singer she was capable of becoming, I 
really had not patience to hear her little French 
airs, and entreated her to give them up ; but the 
little rogue instantly began pestering me with 

1 Presumably William, afterwards Sir William Parsons, 1746-1817, 
Professor of Music and Master of the King's band. 

2 One-act versions by Charles Dibdin of these comic operas had just 
been produced at Co vent Garden. 


them, singing one after another Avith a comical sort 
of malice, and following me round the room, when 
I said I would not listen to her, to say, " But is not 
this pretty ? — and this ? — and this ? " singing aw ay 
with all her might and main. 

She sung without any accompaniment, as we 
had no instrument ; but the S. S. says she plays 
too, very well. Indeed, I fancy she can do well 
whatever she pleases. 

We hardly knew how to get away from her 
when the carriage was ready to take us from 
Tunbridge, and Mrs. Thrale was so much en- 
chanted with her that she went on the Pantiles 
and bought her a very beautiful inkstand. 

" I don't mean, Miss Birch," she said, when she 
gave it her, " to present you this toy as to a child, 
but merely to beg you will do me the favour to 
accept something that may make you now and 
then remember us." 

She was much delighted with this present, and 
told me, in a whisper, that she should put a draw- 
ing of it in her journal. 

So you see, Susy, other children have had this 
whim. But something being said of novels, the 
S. S. said, 

" Selina, do you ever read them ? " — And, with 
a sigh, the little girl answered, 

" But too often ! — I wish I did not ! " 

The only thing I did not like in this seducing 
little creature was our leave-taking. The S. S. 
had, as we expected, her fine eyes suffused with 
tears, and nothing would serve the little Selina, 
who admires the S. S. passionately, but that she, 
also, must weep — and weep, therefore, she did, 
and that in a manner as pretty to look at, as soft, 
as melting, and as little to her discomposure, as 
the weeping of her fair exemplar. The child's 
success in this pathetic art made the tears of both 


appear to the whole party to be lodged, as the 
English merchant says, " very near the eyes ! " 

Doubtful as it is whether we shall ever see this 
sweet syren again, nothing, as Mrs. Thrale said to 
her, can be more certain than that we shall hear 
of her again, let her go whither she will. 

Charmed as we all were with her, we all agreed 
that to have the care of her would be distraction ! 
"She seems the girl in the world," Mrs. Thrale 
wisely said, " to attain the highest reach of human 
perfection as a man's mistress ! — as such she would 
be a second Cleopatra, and have the world at her 

Poor thing ! I hope to Heaven she will escape 
such sovereignty and such honours ! 

We left Tunbridge Wells, and got, by dinner 
time, to our first stage, Uckfield, which afforded 
me nothing to record, except two lines of a curious 
epitaph which I picked up in the churchyard : — 

A wife and eight little children had I, 
And two at a birth who never did cry. 

Our next stage brought us to Brighthelmstone, 
where I fancy we shall stay till the Parliament 
calls away Mr. Thrale. 1 

The morning after our arrival, our first visit was 
from Mr. Kipping, the apothecary, a character so 
curious that Foote designed him for his next piece, 
before he knew he had already written his last. 2 
He is a prating, good-humoured, old gossip, who 
runs on in as incoherent and unconnected a 
style of discourse as Rose Fuller, though not so 

1 He was member for Southwark. 

2 Foote died in 1777. He had spent his last summer at Brighton. 
There was a Kipping, a surgeon, at 28 West Street in 1800 ; and it was a 
Dr. Kipping who, in 1775, had attended "Single-Speech" Hamilton, 
when he had a serious horse accident on Brighton Downs. 


The rest of the morning we spent, as usual at 
this place, upon the Steyn, and in booksellers' 
shops. Mrs. Thrale entered all our names at 
Thomas's, 1 the fashionable bookseller ; but we find 
he has now a rival, situated also upon the Steyn, 
who seems to carry away all the custom and all 
the company. This is a Mr. Bowen, who is just 
come from London, and who seems just the man 
to carry the world before him as a shopkeeper. 
Extremely civil, attentive to watch opportunities 
of obliging, and assiduous to make use of them — 
skilful in discovering the taste or turn of mind of 
his customers, and adroit in putting in their way 
just such temptations as they are least able to 
withstand. Mrs. Thrale, at the same time that 
she sees his management and contrivance, so much 
admires his sagacity and dexterity, that, though 
open-eyed, she is as easily wrought upon to part 
with her money, as any of the many dupes in this 
place, whom he persuades to require indispensably 
whatever he shows them. 

He did not, however, then at all suspect who I 
was, for he showed me nothing but schemes for 
raffles, and books, pocket-cases, etc., which were 
put up for those purposes. It is plain I can 
have no authoress air, since so discerning a book- 
seller thought me a fine lady spendthrift, who only 
wanted occasions to get rid of money. 

In the evening we went to the rooms, which, at 
this time, are open every other night at Shergold's, 
or the New Assembly Rooms, and the alternate 

1 R. Thomas's "Circulating Library" was on the east side of the 
Steine. He had succeeded in 1774 to E. Baker, who had opened the 
first library in Brighton in 1760. Mr. Bowen — Mrs. Th rale's prottg6 — was 
the successor of the Miss Widgett mentioned at p. 226. He was a person 
of courtly manners, and a serious source of anxiety to Thomas. " There 
was a sort of rivalry," says Bishop, "between Mr. Thomas and Mr. 
Bowen ... as to whose subscription-book should most justly deserve 
the title of the ' Book of Numbers ' — ' names,' rather than character or 
position in society, being regarded as of primary importance " (Brighton 
in the Olden Time, 1892, pp. 112, 113, 118). 


nights at Hick's, or the Ship Tavern. 1 This night 
they were at the latter. 

There was very little company, and nobody that 
any of us knew, except two or three gentlemen of 
Mr. Thrale's acquaintance, among whom was that 
celebrated wit and libertine, the Hon. Mr. Beau- 
clerk, 2 and a Mr. Newnham, a rich counsellor, 
learned in the law, but, to me, a displeasing man. 

Almost everybody but ourselves went to cards ; 
we found it, therefore, pretty stupid, and I was 
very glad when we came home. 

Sunday morning, as we came out of church, we 
saw Mrs. Cumberland, 3 one of her sons, and both 
her daughters. Mrs. Thrale spoke to them, but 
I believe they did not recollect me. They are 
reckoned the flashers of the place, yet everybody 
laughs at them for their airs, affectations, and 
tonish graces and impertinences. 

In the evening, Mrs. Dickens, 4 a lady of Mrs. 
Thrale's acquaintance, invited us to drink tea at 
the rooms with her, which we did, and found them 
much more full and lively than the preceding night. 

Mrs. Dickens is, in Mrs. Thrale's phrase, a 
sensible, hard-headed woman, and her daughter, 
Miss Dickens, who accompanied us, is a pretty 
girl of fifteen, who is always laughing, not, how- 
ever from folly, as she deserves the same epithet I 
have given her mother, but from youthful good- 

1 "Shergold's" was the Castle Inn, in Castle Square, pulled down 
in 1823; " Hicks's," the Old Ship Tavern in Ship Street. Both had 
Public Rooms, where Dress Balls and Card Assemblies were held through- 
out the Season. 

2 The Hon. Topham Beauelerk, 1730-80, Johnson's friend, and grand- 
son of the first Duke of St. Albans. He was an original member of the 
Literary Club. He died not long after the mention of him here (March 
11, 1780). 

3 The wife of Cumberland the dramatist. The daughters were no 
doubt the two elder girls, — Elizabeth, afterwards Lady Bentinck, and 
Sophia, afterwards Mrs. Badcock. 

4 Mrs. Dickens was probably the wife of the grandson of Mrs. Thrale's 
friend, Richard Scrase. 


humour, and from having from nature, as Mr. 
Thrale comically said to her, after examining her 
some minutes, " a good merry face of her own." 

The folks of most consequence with respect to 
rank, who were at the rooms this night, were Lady 
Pembroke, 1 and Lady Di Beauclerk, 2 both of whom 
have still very pleasing remains of the beauty for 
which they have been so much admired. But the 
present beauty, whose remains our children (i.e. 
nieces) may talk of, is a Mrs. Musters, an exceed- 
ing pretty woman, who is the reigning toast of 
the season. 3 

While Mrs. Thrale, Mrs. Dickens, and I were 
walking about after tea, we were joined by a Mr. 
Cure, a gentleman of the former's acquaintance. 
After a little while he said, 

" Miss Thrale is very much grown since she was 
here last year ; and besides, I think she's vastly 

"Do you, sir," cried she, "I can't say I think 

" Oh, vastly ! — but young ladies at that age are 
always altering. To tell you the truth, I did not 
know her at all." 

This, for a little while, passed quietly ; but soon 
after, he exclaimed, 

"Ma'am, do you know I have not yet read 
Evelina ? " 

1 Lady Pembroke, d. 1831, was the second daughter of Charles 
Spencer, second Duke of Marlborough, and sister of Lady Di Beauclerk. 
She was the wife of Henry, tenth Earl of Pembroke, 1 734-94. 

2 Lady Diana Beauclerk, 1734-1808, was the eldest daughter of the second 
Duke of Marlborough. Her first husband was Viscount Bolingbroke, 
from whom she was divorced. She was a clever amateur artist, who 
illustrated Dryden's Fables and Walpole's Mysterious Mother. A memoir 
of her by Mrs. Steuart Erskine was published in 1903. 

3 Mother of the J. Musters, who married Byron's first love, Mary 
Chaworth. Mrs. Barrett repeats "an anecdote of this lady, related by a 
gentleman still (1842) living at Brighton. He remembers meeting Mrs. 
Musters at the ball mentioned by Miss Burney, and being requested to 
give her a glass of water, it was turbid and chalky ; upon which she said, 
as she drank it, ' Chalk is thought to be a cure for the heart-burn : — I 
wonder whether it will cure the heart-ache ? ' " 


" Have not you so, sir ? " cried she, laughing. 

" No, and I think I never shall, for there's no 
getting it ; the booksellers say they never can keep 
it a moment, and the folks that hire it keep lend- 
ing it from one to another in such a manner that 
it is never returned to the library. It's very 

" But," said Mrs. Thrale, " what makes you ex- 
claim about it so to me ? " 

" Why, because, if you recollect, the last thing 
you said to me when we parted last year, was — ' Be 
sure you read Evelina.' So as soon as I saw you I 
recollected it all again. But I wish Miss Thrale 
would turn more this way." 

" Why, what do you mean, Mr. Cure ? do you 
know Miss Thrale now ? " 

" Yes, to be sure," answered he, looking full at 
me, " though I protest I should not have guessed 
at her had I seen her with anybody but you." 

" Oh, ho !" cried Mrs. Thrale, laughing, "so you 
mean Miss Burney all this time." 

" What ?— how ?— eh ?— why is that— is not that 
Miss Thrale ? is not that your daughter ? " 

" No to be sure it is not — I wish she was ! " 

Mr. Cure looked aghast, Mrs. Dickens laughed 
aloud, and I, the whole time, had been obliged to 
turn my head another way, that my sniggering 
might not sooner make him see his mistake. 

As soon, I suppose, as he was able, Mr. Cure in 
a low voice repeated, " Miss Burney ! so then that 
lady is the authoress of Evelina all this time." 

And, rather abruptly, he left us and joined 
another party. 

I suppose he told his story to as many as he 
talked to, for, in a short time, I found myself so 
violently stared at that I could hardly look any 
way without being put quite out of countenance, 
— particularly by young Mr. Cumberland, a hand- 


some, soft-looking youth, who fixed his eyes upon 
me incessantly, though but the evening before, 
when I saw him at Hick's, 1 he looked as if it 
would have been a diminution of his dignity to 
have regarded me twice. 

This ridiculous circumstance will, however, 
prevent any more mistakes of the same kind, I 
believe, as my " authorshipness " seems now pretty 
well known and spread about Brighthelmstone. 
[The very next morning as Miss Thrale and I 
entered Bowen's shop, where we were appointed to 
meet Mrs. Thrale, I heard her saying to him, as 
they were both in serious and deep confabulation : 
" So you have picked up all this, Mr. Bowen, have 
you ? " then, seeing me, " Oh, ho ! " she cried, " so 
one never is to speak of anybody at Brighthelm- 
stone, but they are to be at one's elbow." 

" I presume," quoth I, " you were scarcely 
speaking of me ? " 

"No, but I was hearing of you from Mr. 

And when we left the shop she told me that he 
had said to her, " Oh, ma'am, what a book thrown 
away was that ! All the trade cry shame on 
Lowndes. Not, ma'am, that I expected he could 
have known its worth, because that's out of the 
question ; but when its profits told him what it 
was, it's quite scandalous that he should have done 
nothing ! quite ungentlemanlike indeed ! " 

There's a bookseller for you, Susy ! ] 

And now, if by the mention of a ball, I have 
raised in you any expectations of adventures, which 
with Charlotte, at least, I doubt not has been the 
case, — I am sorry to be obliged to blast them all by 
confessing that none at all happened. 

One thing, however, proved quite disagreeable 
to me, and that was the whole behaviour of the 

1 See ante, p. 282. 


whole tribe of the Cumberlands, which I must 

Mr. Cumberland, when he saw Mrs. Thrale, flew 
with eagerness to her and made her take his seat, 
and he talked to her, with great friendliness and 
intimacy, as he has been always accustomed to 
do, — and inquired very particularly concerning her 
daughter, expressing an earnest desire to see her. 
But when, some time after, Mrs. Thrale said, " Oh, 
there is my daughter, with Miss Burney," he 
changed the discourse abruptly, — never came near 
Miss Thrale, and neither then nor since, when he 
has met Mrs. Thrale, has again mentioned her 
name : and the whole evening he seemed determined 
to avoid us both. 

Mrs. Cumberland contented herself with only 
looking at me as at a person she had no reason or 
business to know. 

The two daughters, but especially the eldest, as 
well as the son, were by no means so quiet ; they 
stared at me every time I came near them as if I 
had been a thing for a show ; surveyed me from 
head to foot, and then again, and again, and again 
returned to my face, with so determined and so 
unabating a curiosity, that it really made me 

All the folks here impute the whole of this 
conduct to its having transpired that I am to bring 
out a play this season ; for Mr. Cumberland, though 
in all other respects an agreeable and a good man, 
is so notorious for hating and envying and spiting 
all authors in the dramatic line, that he is hardly 
decent in his behaviour towards them. 

He has little reason, at present at least, to bear 
me any ill-will ; but if he is capable of such weak- 
ness and malignity as to have taken an aversion to 
me merely because I can make use of pen and ink, 
he deserves not to hear of my having suppressed 


my play, or of anything else that can gratify so 
illiberal a disposition. 

Dr. Johnson, Mr. Cholmondeley, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Thrale have all repeatedly said to me, 
" Cumberland no doubt hates you heartily by this 
time " ; but it always appeared to me a speech of 
mingled fun and flattery, and I never dreamed of 
its being possible to be true. However, perhaps 
yet all this may be accidental, so I will discuss the 
point no longer. 

A few days since we drank tea at Mrs. Dickens's, 
where, with other company, we met Sir John and 

Lady S - 1 Sir John prides himself in being a 

courtier of the last age. He is abominably ugly, 
and a prodigious puffer, — now of his fortune, now 
of his family, and now of his courtly connections 
and feats. His lady is a beautiful woman, tall, 
genteel, and elegant in her person, with regular 
features, and a fine complexion. For the rest, she 
is well-bred, gentle, and amiable. 

She invited us all to tea at her house the next 
evening, where we met Lady Pembroke, whose 
character, as far as it appears, seems exactly the 

same as Lady S 's. But the chief employment 

of the evening was listening to Sir John's braga- 
docios of what the old king said to him, — which of 
the ladies of quality were his cousins, — how many 
acres of land he enjoyed in Sussex, — and other 
such modest discourse. 

After tea, we all went to the rooms, Lady 
Pembroke having first retired. There was a great 
deal of company, and among them the Cumber- 
lands. The eldest of the girls, who was walking 
with Mrs. Musters, quite turned round her whole 

1 Shelley. Sir John Shelley, d. 1783, Keeper of the Records in the 
Tower and Clerk of the Pipe. His second wife was Elizabeth Woodcock, 
to whom he was married in 1775. 


person every time we passed each other, to keep 
me in sight, and stare at me as long as possible ; so 
did her brother. I never saw anything so ill-bred 
and impertinent ; I protest I was ready to quit the 
rooms to avoid them ; till at last Miss Thrale, 
catching Miss Cumberland's eye, gave her so full, 
determined, and downing a stare, that whether 
cured by shame or by resentment, she forbore 
from that time to look at either of us. Miss 
Thrale, with a sort of good-natured dryness, said, 
" Whenever you are disturbed with any of these 
starers, apply to me, — I'll warrant I'll cure them. 
I daresay the girl hates me for it ; but what shall 
I be the worse for that ? I would have served 
master Dickey so too, only I could not catch his 

Oct. 20. — Last Tuesday, at the request of 

Lady S , who patronised a poor actor, we all 

went to the play, — which was Dryden's Tempest, 1 — 
and a worse performance have I seldom seen. 
Shakspeare's Tempest, which for fancy, invention, 
and originality, is at the head of beautiful improb- 
abilities, is rendered by the additions of Dryden a 
childish chaos of absurdity and obscenity ; and the 
grossness and awkwardness of these poor unskilful 
actors rendered all that ought to have been obscure 
so shockingly glaring, that there was no attending 
to them without disgust. All that afforded me 
any entertainment was looking at Mr. Thrale, who 
turned up his nose with an expression of contempt 
at the beginning of the performance, and never 
suffered it to return to its usual place till it was 
ended ! 

The play was ordered by Mrs. Cumberland. 
These poor actors never have any company in the 
boxes unless they can prevail upon some lady to 

1 The Tempest; or, the Enchanted Island, 1670. The Brighton theatre 
of this date was in North Street. 







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bespeak a play, and desire her acquaintance to go 
to it. But we all agreed we should not have been 
very proud to have had our names at the head of a 
play-bill of Dryden's Tempest. 

By the way, Mrs. Cumberland has never once 
waited on Mrs. Thrale since our arrival, though, 
till now, she always seemed proud enough of the 
acquaintance. Very strange ! Mr. Cumberland, 
after a week's consideration and delay, called at 
last, and chatted with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale very 
sociably and agreeably. I happened to be up- 
stairs, and felt no great desire, you may believe, 
to go down, and Mrs. Thrale archly enough said 

" I would have sent to you, but hang it, thought 
I, if I only name her, this man will snatch his hat 
and make off ! " 

The other morning the two Misses came into 
Thomas's shop while we were there, and the eldest, 
as usual, gave me, it seems, the honour of employ- 
ing her eyes the whole time she stayed. 

We afterwards met them on the Steyn, and 
they curtsied to Mrs. Thrale, who stopt and 
inquired after their father, and then a dawdling 
conversation took place. 

"How were you entertained at the play, ma'am ? 
— did you ever see anything so full ? " 

" Oh," cried Mrs. Thrale, " the ladies are all 
dying of it ! such holding up of fans ! " 

" Oh, because it was so hot," cried Miss Cum- 
berland, entirely misunderstanding her : " it was 
monstrous hot, indeed ! " 

The next time I meet them, I intend to 
try if I can stop this their staring system, by 
courtesying to them immediately. I think it will 
be impossible, if I claim them as acquaintance, 
that they can thus rudely fasten their eyes 
upon me. 

vol. i u 


We have had a visit from Dr. Delap. He told 
me that he had another tragedy, and that I should 
have it to read. 

He was very curious to see Mr. Cumberland, 
who, it seems, has given evident marks of dis- 
pleasure at his name whenever Mrs. Thrale has 
mentioned it. That poor man is so wonderfully 
narrow-minded in his authorship capacity, though 
otherwise good, humane, and generous, that he 
changes countenance at either seeing or hearing of 
any writer whatsoever. Mrs. Thrale, with whom, 
this foible excepted, he is a great favourite, is so 
enraged with him for his littleness of soul in this 
respect, that merely to plague him, she vowed at 
the rooms she would walk all the evening between 
Dr. Delap and me. I wished so little to increase 
his unpleasant feelings, that I determined to keep 
with Miss Thrale and Miss Dickens entirely. One 
time, though, Mrs. Thrale, when she was sitting 
by Dr. Delap, called me suddenly to her, and when 
I was seated, said, " Now let's see if Mr. Cumber- 
land will come and speak to me ! " But he always 
turns resolutely another way when he sees her 
with either of us ; though at all other times he is 
particularly fond of her company. 

" It would actually serve him right," says she, 
"to make Dr. Delap and you strut at each side of 
me, one with a dagger, and the other with a mask, 
as tragedy and comedy." 

" I think, Miss Burney," said the doctor, " you 
and I seem to stand in the same predicament. 
What shall we do for the poor man ? suppose we 
burn a play apiece ? " 

"Depend upon it," said Mrs. Thrale, "he has 
heard, in town, that you are both to bring one out 
this season, and perhaps one of his own may be 
deferred on that account." 

" Well, he's a fine man," cried the doctor ; 


"pray, Miss Burney, show me him when you see 

On the announcement of the carriage, we went 
into the next room for our cloaks, where Mrs. 
Thrale and Mr. Cumberland were in deep conver- 

" Oh, here's Miss Burney ! " said Mrs. Thrale 
aloud. Mr. Cumberland turned round, but with- 
drew his eyes instantly ; and I, determined not to 
interrupt them, made Miss Thrale walk away with 
me. In about ten minutes she left him, and we 
all came home. 

As soon as we were in the carriage, 

" It has been," said Mrs. Thrale warmly, "all I 
could do not to affront Mr. Cumberland to-night ! " 

" Oh, I hope not ! " cried I ; " I would not have 
you for the world ! " 

" Why, I have refrained ; but with great diffi- 

And then she told me the conversation she had 
just had with him. As soon as I made off, he 
said, with a spiteful tone of voice, 

" Oh, that young lady is an author, I hear ! " 

"Yes," answered Mrs. Thrale, "author of 
Evelina ! " 

" Humph, — I am told it has some humour ! " 

" Ay, indeed ! Johnson says nothing like it 
has appeared for years ! " 

" So," cried he, biting his lips, and waving 
uneasily in his chair, " so, so ! " 

" Yes," continued she, " and Sir Joshua Reynolds 
told Mr. Thrale he would give fifty pounds to know 
the author ! " 

" So, so — oh, vastly well ! " cried he, putting his 
hand on his forehead. 

"Nay," added she, "Burke himself sat up all 
night to finish it ! " 


This seemed quite too much for him ; he put 
both his hands to his face, and waving backwards 
and forwards, said, 

" Oh, vastly well ! — this will do for anything ! " 
with a tone as much as to say, Pray, no more ! 
Then Mrs. Thrale bid him good-night, longing, 
she said, to call Miss Thrale first, and say, "So 
you won't speak to my daughter ? — why, she is no 
author ! " 

I much rejoice that she did not, and I have 
most earnestly entreated her not to tell this 
anecdote to anybody here, for I really am much 
concerned to have ever encountered this sore man, 
who, if already he thus burns with envy at the 
success of my book, will, should he find his narrow- 
ness of mind resented by me, or related by my 
friends, not only wish me ill, but do me every ill 
office hereafter in his power. Indeed, I am quite 
shocked to find how he avoids and determines to 
dislike me ; for hitherto I have always been willing 
and able to hope that I had not one real enemy or 
ill-wisher in the world. I shall still, however, 
hope, if I can but keep Mrs. Thrale's indignant 
warmth of friendship within bounds, to somewhat 
conciliate matters, and prevent any open enmity, 
which authorises all ill deeds, from taking place. 
All authorship contention I shudder to think of. 

I must now have the honour to present to you a 
new acquaintance, who this day dined here — Mr. 

B y, an Irish gentleman, late a commissary in 

Germany. He is between sixty and seventy, but 
means to pass for about thirty ; gallant, com- 
plaisant, obsequious, and humble to the fair sex, 
for whom he has an awful reverence ; but when 
not immediately addressing them, swaggering, 
blustering, puffing, and domineering. These are 
his two apparent characters ; but the real man 


is worthy, moral, religious, though conceited and 

He is as fond of quotations as my poor " Lady 
Smatter" 1 and, like her, knows little beyond a song, 
and always blunders about the author of that. His 
language greatly resembles Rose Fuller's, who, as 
Mrs. Thrale well says, when as old, will be much 
such another personage. His whole conversation 
consists in little French phrases, picked up during 
his residence abroad, and in anecdotes and story- 
telling, which are sure to be retold daily and daily 
in the same words. 

Having given you this general sketch, I will 
endeavour to illustrate it by some specimens ; but 
you must excuse their being unconnected, and only 
such as I can readily recollect. 

Speaking of the ball in the evening, to which 
we were all going, " Ah, madam ! " said he to Mrs. 
Thrale, "there was a time when — tol-de rol, tol- 
de-rol [rising, and dancing, and singing], tol-de-rol ! 
— I could dance with the best of them ; but, now 
a man, forty and upwards, as my Lord Ligonier 2 
used to say — but — tol-de-rol ! — there was a time ! " 

"Ay, so there was, Mr. B y," said Mrs. 

Thrale, "and I think you and I together made a 
very venerable appearance ! " 

" Ah ! madam, I remember once, at Bath, I was 
called out to dance with one of the finest young 
ladies I ever saw. I was just preparing to do my 
best, when a gentleman of my acquaintance was so 

cruel as to whisper me, ' B y ! the eyes of all 

Europe are upon you ! ' — for that was the phrase 

of the times. ' B y ! ' says he, * the eyes of all 

Europe are upon you ! ' — I vow, ma'am, enough to 
make a man tremble! — tol-de-rol, tol-de-rol! 

1 A character in The Witlings, regarded by Mrs. Thrale as meant for 

2 John, Earl Ligonier, 1678-1770. Reynolds painted him. 


[dancing] — the eyes of all Europe are upon you ! 
— I declare, ma'am, enough to put a man out of 
countenance ! " 

Dr. Delap, who came here some time after, was 
speaking of Horace. 

" Ah ! madam," cried Mr. B y, " this Latin 

— things of that kind — we waste our youth, ma'am, 
in these vain studies. For my part I wish I had 
spent mine in studying French and Spanish — more 
useful, ma'am. But, bless me, ma'am, what time 
have I had for that kind of thing ? Travelling 
here, over the ocean, hills and dales, ma'am — read- 
ing the great book of the world — poor ignorant 
mortals, ma'am, — no time to do anything ! " 

"Ay, Mr. B y," said Mrs. Thrale, "I 

remember how you downed Beauclerk and 
Hamilton, the wits, once at our house, when they 
talked of ghosts ! " 

" Ah ! ma'am, give me a brace of pistols, and I 
warrant I'll manage a ghost for you ! Not but 
Providence may please to send little spirits — 
guardian angels, ma'am — to watch us : that I 
can't speak about. It would be presumptuous, 
ma'am — for what can a poor, ignorant mortal 
know ? " 

" Ay, so you told Beauclerk and Hamilton." 

"Oh yes, ma'am. Poor human beings can't 
account for anything — and call themselves esprits 
forts, I vow 'tis presumptuous, ma'am ! Esprits 
forts, indeed ! they can see no farther than their 
noses, poor, ignorant mortals ! Here's an admiral, 
and here's a prince, and here's a general, and here's 
a dipper — and poor Smoker, the bather, ma'am ! 
What's all this strutting about, and that kind of 
thing ? and then they can't account for a blade of 
grass ! " 

After this, Dr. Johnson being mentioned, 

" Ay," said he, " I'm sorry he did not come 


down with you. I liked him better than those 
others : not much of a fine gentleman, indeed, but 
a clever fellow — a deal of knowledge — got a deuced 
good understanding ! " 

Dr. Delap rather abruptly asked my christian 

name: Mrs. Thrale answered, and Mr. B y 

tenderly repeated, 

" Fanny ! a prodigious pretty name, and a pretty 
lady that bears it. Fanny ! Ah ! how beautiful is 
that song of Swift's — 

" When Fanny, blooming fair, 1 

First caught my ravished sight, 
Struck with her mien and air — " 

"Her face and air," interrupted Mrs. Thrale, 
"for ' mien and air ' we hold to be much the same 

" Right, ma'am, right ! You, ma'am — why, 
ma'am — you know everything ; but, as to me — to 
be sure, I began with studying the old Greek and 
Latin, ma'am : but, then, travelling, ma'am ! — 
going through Germany, and then France, and 
Spain, ma'am ! and dipping at Brighthelmstone, 
over hills and dales, reading the great book of the 
world ! Ay, a little poetry now and then, to be 
sure, I have picked up. 

" My Phoebe and I, 
O'er hills, and o'er dales, and o'er valleys will fly, 
And love shall be by ! 

But, as you say, ma'am ! — 

" Struck with her face and air, 
I felt a strange delight ! 

1 Lady Fanny Shirley, d. 1778, daughter of the Countess Dowager of 
Ferrers. Walpole mentions her in the Twickenham Register, 1759 : — 

Where Fanny, " ever- blooming fair," 
Ejaculates the graceful pray'r, 
And, 'scap'd from sense, with nonsense smit, 
For Whitefield's cant leaves Stanhope's wit. 


How pretty that is : how progressive from the first 
sight of her ! Ah ! Swift was a fine man ! " 

" Why, sir, I don't think it's printed in his 
works ! " said Dr. Delap. 

" No ! " said Mrs. Thrale, " because 'tis Chester- 
field's!" 1 

"Ay, right, right, ma'am ! so it is." 

Now, if I had heard all this before I wrote my 
play, would you not have thought I had borrowed 
the hint of my Witlings from Mr. B y ? 

"I am glad, Mr. Thrale," continued this hero, 
"you have got your fireplace altered. Why, 
ma'am, there used to be such a wind, there was 
no sitting here. Admirable dinners — excellent 
company — tres bon fare — and, all the time, ' Signor 
Vento ' coming down the chimney ! Do you re- 
member, Miss Thrale, how, one day at dinner, you 
burst out a -laughing, because I said a tres bon 
goose ? " 

But if I have not now given you some idea of 

Mr. B y's conversation, I never can, for I have 

written almost as many words as he ever uses, and 
given you almost as many ideas as he ever starts ! 
And as he almost lives here, it is fitting I let you 
know something of him. 

Well, in the evening we all went to the ball, 

where we had appointed to meet Lady S , Mrs. 

Dickens, and Mr., Mrs., and the Misses S , of 


The eldest Miss S had for a partner a most 

1 This is not so sure. It was more probably by the dramatist Thomas 
Philips, to whom it is assigned in the Daily Post in 1733, and in the 
account of Philips's death in the same paper for March 12, 1738-39. 
Nevertheless Chesterfield allowed it to be included in vol. i. of Dodsley's 
Collection with certain pieces written by him. There is a touching 
reference to Lady Fanny in Walpole's letter to Mann of July 16, 
1778 : — " ' Fanny, blooming fair,' died here yesterday of a stroke of 
palsy. She had lost her memory for some years, and remembered 
nothing but her beauty and not her Methodism. Being confined with 
only servants, she was continually lamenting, * I to be abandoned that 
all the world used to adore.' She was seventy-two." 


odiously vulgar young man, short, thick, and totally 

"I wonder," said she to me, between one of 
the dances, " what my partner's name is — do you 
know ? " 

" I am not sure," quoth I, " but I fancy Mr. 
Squab ! " 

"Mr. Squab!" repeated she. "Well, I don't 
like him at all. Pray, do you know who that 
gentleman is that jumps so?" pointing to Mr. 

" Yes," answered I, " 'tis a Mr. Kill ! " 

" Well," cried she, " I don't like his dancing at 
all. I wonder who that officer is ? " pointing to a 
fat, coarse sort of a man, who stooped immoder- 

" Captain Slouch," quoth I. 

" Well," said she, " I think the people here have 
very odd names ! " 

And thus, though the names I gave them were 
merely and markingly descriptive of their persons, 
did this little noodle and her sister instantly believe 

When the dancing was over, and we walked 
about, Mr. Cure, with his usual obsequiousness, 
came to speak to me, and for awhile joined us ; 
and these girls, who penned me between them, 
tittered, and pinched me, and whispered observa- 
tions upon " Mr. Kill," till I was obliged to assume 
the most steady gravity, to prevent his discovering 
how free I had made with him. 

Just before we came away, Mr. S came up 

to his daughter, and said, " Pray, my dear, who was 
the gentleman you danced with ? " 

" Mr. Squab, papa," answered she. 

"A good, tight young man," said Mr. S . 

" I must go and make a bow to him before we go." 

All the Cumberlands were there. Mr. Cumber- 


land avoids Miss Thrale as much as he does me, 
merely, I suppose, because she is commonly with 
me. However, if such is his humour, he was not 
made too happy this night, for Mrs. Thrale told 
me, that while she was seated next him, as he was 
playing at cards, Dr. Delap came to her, and began 
singing my eloge, and saying how I should be adored 
in France ; that that was the paradise of lady wits, 
and that, for his part, if he had not known I 
was Dr. Burney's daughter, he thought I had so 
much a French face and look 1 that he should have 
guessed me for a daughter of Voltaire's, — and other 
such speeches, all of which, I fear, were so many 
torments to poor Mr. Cumberland. 

" But," said Mrs. Thrale, " let him be tormented, 
if such things can torment him. For my part I'd 
have a starling taught to halloo Evelina ! " 2 

I am absolutely almost ill with laughing. This 

Mr. B y half convulses me ; yet I cannot make 

you laugh by writing his speeches, because it is the 
manner which accompanies them, that, more than 
the matter, renders them so peculiarly ridiculous. 
His extreme pomposity, the solemn stiffness of his 
person, the conceited twinkling of his little old 
eyes, and the quaint importance of his delivery, 
are so much more like some pragmatical old cox- 
comb represented on the stage, than like anything 
in real and common life, that I think, were I a man, 
I should sometimes be betrayed into clapping him 
for acting so well. As it is, I am sure no character 
in any comedy I ever saw has made me laugh more 

He dines and spends the evening here constantly, 
to my great satisfaction. 

1 Miss Burney — like the Miss Berrys — is said to have been French- 
looking. She was, of course, of French extraction on the mother's side. 

2 Cf. 1 Henry IV. Act I. Sc. iii. 


At dinner, when Mrs. Thrale offers him a seat 
next her, he regularly says, 

" But where are les charmantes ? " meaning Miss 
T. and me. " I can do nothing till they are 
accommodated ! " 

And, whenever he drinks a glass of wine, he 
never fails to touch either Mrs. Thrale's, or my 
glass, with " est 41 per mis ? " 

But at the same time that he is so courteous, 
he is proud to a most sublime excess, and thinks 
every person to whom he speaks honoured beyond 
measure by his notice, nay, he does not even look 
at anybody without evidently displaying that such 
notice is more the effect of his benign condescen- 
sion, than of any pretension on their part to deserve 
such a mark of his perceiving their existence. But 
you will think me mad about this man. 

By far the best among our men acquaintance 
here, and him whom, next to Mr. Selwyn, I like 
the best, is a Mr. Tidy. You will probably suspect, 
as Lady Hesketh did last night when she met him 
here, that this is a nickname only, whereas he hath 
not, heaven knows, a better in the world ! He 
appears a grave, reserved, quiet man ; but he is a 
sarcastic, observing, and ridiculing man. No trust- 
ing to appearances, no, not even to wigs ! for a 
meaner, more sneaking and pitiful wig, — a wig that 
less bespeaks a man worth twopence in his pocket, 
or two ideas in his head, did I never see than that 
of Mr. Tidy. 

But the most agreeable part of the evening was 
the time I spent with Mr. Selwyn. to whom I have 
taken a prodigious fancy, 1 and a very odd one you 
will say if you inquire the " peticklers," for it is 

1 Mr. Selwyn was a wealthy and elderly banker (of Paris), who admired 
Miss Burney in return. But Mrs. Thrale thought him too old for a 
husband to her friend. 


neither for brilliancy, talents, wit, person, nor 
youth, since he is possessed of none of these ; but 
the fact is, he appears to me uncommonly good, 
full of humanity, generosity, delicacy, and bene- 

[One time, while Mrs. and Miss Thrale and I 
were parading up and down, he came to us laughing, 
and said, 

" A gentleman has this moment been asking 
Lord Seftcn who is the lady in the hat (N.B., I 
only had one) ? * What ! ' answered his lordship, 
' did you never read ? ' " 

He stopped and bit his lips, and I bit mine, and 
whisked to the other side. 

I wonder if ever I shall cease feeling awkward 
at the first attack of every fresh attacker upon this 
subject ?] 

• •»... 

Do you know I have been writing to Dr. 
Johnson ! I tremble to mention it ; but he sent 
a message in a letter to Mrs. Thrale, to wonder 
why his pupils did not write to him, and to hope 
they did not forget him : Miss Thrale, therefore, 
wrote a letter immediately, and I added only this 
little postscript : 

" P.S. — Dr. Johnson's other pupil a little longs 
to add a few lines to this letter, — but knows too 
well that all she has to say might be comprised in 
signing herself his obliged and most obedient serv- 
ant, F. B. : so that's better than a long rigmarole 
about nothing." 

Nov. 3. — Last Monday we went again to the 

ball. Mr. B y, who was there, and seated 

himself next to Lady Pembroke, at the top of the 
room, looked most sublimely happy ! — He con- 
tinues still to afford me the highest diversion. 
Rose Fuller was never half so entertaining ; and 


Mr. Selwyn, who has long known him, and has all 
his stories and sayings by heart, studies to recollect 
all his favourite topics, and tells me beforehand 
what he will say upon the subject he prepares me 
for leading him to. Indeed, between him and 
Mrs. Thrale, almost all he has to say is almost 

As he is notorious for his contempt of all artists, 
whom he looks upon with little more respect than 
upon day-labourers, the other day, when painting 
was discussed, he spoke of Sir Joshua Reynolds 
as if he had been upon a level with a carpenter or 

" Did you ever," said Mrs. Thrale, " see his 
* Nativity'?" 

"No, madam, — but I know his pictures very 
well ; I knew him many years ago, in Minorca ; 1 
he drew my picture there, — and then he knew how 
to take a moderate price ; but now, I vow, ma'am, 
'tis scandalous — scandalous indeed ! to pay a fellow 
here seventy guineas for scratching out a head ! " 

" Sir," cried Dr. Delap, "you must not run down 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, because he is Miss Burney's 

" Sir," answered he, " I don't want to run the 
man down ; I like him well enough in his proper 
place ; he is as decent as any man of that sort I 
ever knew ; but for all that, sir, his prices are 
shameful. Why, he would not [looking at the 
poor doctor with an enraged contempt] he would 
not do your head under seventy guineas ! " 

"Well," said Mrs. Thrale, "he had one por- 
trait 2 at the last exhibition, that I think hardly 

1 Reynolds was at Port Mahon, Minorca, in 1749 as the guest of the 
Governor, General Blakeney. 

2 This must have been the portrait exhibited in this year of Andrew 
Stuart (d. 1801), the Scotch agent for the opponents of the filiation of 
the Douglas in the famous Douglas cause, and the author of the Letters 
to Lord Mansfield on that cause, 1773. 


could be paid enough for ; it was of a Mr. Stuart ; 
I had never done admiring it." 

" What stuff is this, ma'am ! " cried Mr. 

B y, " how can two or three dabs of paint ever 

be worth such a sum as that ? " 

" Sir," said Mr. Selwyn (always willing to draw 
him out), "you know not how much he is im- 
proved since you knew him in Minorca ; he is 
now the finest painter, perhaps, in the world." 

"Pho, pho, sir," cried he, "how can you talk 
so ? you, Mr. Selwyn, who have seen so many 
capital pictures abroad ? " 

" Come, come, sir," said the ever odd Dr. 
Delap, "you must not go on so undervaluing 
him, for, I tell you, he is a friend of Miss 

" Sir," said Mr. B y, " I tell you again I 

have no objection to the man ; I have dined in 
his company two or three times ; a very decent 
man he is, fit to keep company with gentlemen ; 
but, ma'am, what are all your modern dabblers 
put together to one ancient ? nothing ! — a set of — 
not a Rubens among them ! I vow, ma'am, not a 
Rubens among them ! " 

But, perhaps, his contempt of Dr. Delap's plea 
that he was my friend, may make you suppose 
that I am not in his good graces ; whereas I 
assure you it is not so ; for the other evening, 
when they were all at cards, I left the room 
for some time, and, on my return, Mr. Selwyn 

" Miss Burney, do not your cheeks tingle ? " 

"No," quoth I, "why should they?" 

" From the conversation that has just passed," 
answered he ; and afterwards I heard from Mrs. 

Thrale, that Mr. B y had been singing my 

praises, and pronouncing me " a dear little 
char mantel 


Brighthelmstone. — To go on with the subject I 
left off with last — my favourite subject you will 

think it — Mr. B y. I must inform you that 

his commendation was more astonishing to me 
than anybody's could be, as I had really taken it 
for granted he had hardly noticed my existence. 
But he has also spoken very well of Dr. Delap — 
that is to say, in a very condescending manner. 
" That Dr. Delap," said he, " seems a good sort of 
man ; I wish all the cloth were like him ; but, 
lackaday ! 'tis no such thing ; the clergy in general 
are but odd dogs." 

Whenever plays are mentioned, we have also a 
regular speech about them. 

" I never," he says, " go to a tragedy, — it's too 
affecting ; tragedy enough in real life : tragedies 
are only fit for fair females ; for my part, I cannot 
bear to see Othello tearing about in that violent 
manner; — and fair little Desdemona — ma'am, 'tis 
too affecting ! to see your kings and your princes 
tearing their pretty locks, — oh, there's no standing- 
it ! 'A straw-crown'd monarch,' — what is that, 
Mrs. Thrale ? 

"A straw-crown'd monarch in mock majesty. 

I can't recollect now where that is ; but for my 
part I really cannot bear to see such sights. And 
then out come the white handkerchiefs, and all 
their pretty eyes are wiping, and then come poison 
and daggers, and all that kind of thing, — Oh 
ma'am, 'tis too much ; but yet the fair tender 
hearts, the pretty little females, all like it ! " 

This speech, word for word, I have already 
heard from him literally four times. 

When Mr. Garrick was mentioned, he honoured 
him with much the same style of compliment as 
he had done Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

" Ay, ay," said he, " that Garrick was another 


of those fellows that people run mad about. 
Ma'am, 'tis a shame to think of such things ! an 
actor living like a person of quality ! scandalous ! 
I vow, scandalous ! " 

" Well, — commend me to Mr. B y ! " cried 

Mrs. Thrale, "for he is your only man to put 
down all the people that everybody else sets up." 

"Why, ma'am," answered he, "I like all these 
people very well in their proper places ; but to see 
such a set of poor beings living like persons of 
quality, — 'tis preposterous ! common sense, madam, 
common sense is against that kind of thing. As 
to Garrick, he was a very good mimic, an enter- 
taining fellow enough, and all that kind of thing ; 
but for an actor to live like a person of quality — 
oh, scandalous ! " 

Some time after, the musical tribe was men- 
tioned. He was at cards at the time with Mr. 
Selwyn, Dr. Delap, and Mr. Thrale, while we 
" fair females," as he always calls us, were speaking 
of Agujari. He constrained himself from flying 
out as long as he was able; but upon our 
mentioning her having fifty pounds a song, he 
suddenly, in a great rage, called out " Catgut and 
rosin ! — ma'am, 'tis scandalous ! " x 

We all laughed, and Mr. Selwyn, to provoke 
him on, said, 

" Why, sir, how shall we part with our money 
better ? " 

" Oh, fie ! fie ! " cried he, " I have not patience 
to hear of such folly ; common sense, sir, common 
sense is against it. Why now, there was one of 
these fellows at Bath last season, a Mr. Rauzzini, 2 

1 Agujari (see ante, p. 156), whom Lord Macaulay severely styles the 
" rapacious" Agujari, received fifty pounds a song for singing at the 
Oxford Street Pantheon, which, it is admitted, she always filled. 

2 Venanzio Rauzzini, 1747-1810, singer, teacher, and composer. He 
settled at Bath (13 Gay Street) about 1780, becoming, for the rest of his 
life, its great musical dictator (Early Diary, 1889, ii. 122 et seq.). 


— I vow I longed to cane him every day ! such a 
work made with him ! all the fair females sighing 
for him ! enough to make a man sick ! " 

I have always, at dinner, the good fortune to 
sit next the General, for I am sure if I had not 
I could not avoid offending him, because I am 
eternally upon the titter when he speaks, so that 
if I faced him he must see my merriment was 
not merely at his humour, but excited by his 
countenance, his language, his winking, and the 
very tone of his voice. 

Mr. Selwyn, who, as I have already hinted, 
indulges my enjoyment of Mr. B y's conversa- 
tion by always trying to draw him out upon such 
topics as he most shows off in, told me, some 
days since, that he feared I had now exhausted 
all his stories, and heard him discuss all his 
shining subjects of discourse ; but afterwards, 
recollecting himself, he added, that there was yet 
one in reserve, which was "ladies learning Greek," 
upon which he had, last year, flourished very 
copiously. The occasion was Miss Streatfield's 
knowledge of that language, and the General, 
who wants two or three phrases of Latin to make 
him pass for a man of learning (as he fails not 
daily to repeat his whole stock), was so much 
incensed that a "fair female" should presume to 
study Greek, that he used to be quite outrageous 
upon the subject. Mr. Selwyn, therefore, promised 
to treat me with hearing his dissertation, which 
he assured me would afford me no little diversion. 

The other day, at dinner, the subject was 
married life, and, among various husbands and 

wives, Lord L being mentioned, Mr. B y 

pronounced his panegyric, and called him his 

vol. i x 


Mr. Selwyn, though with much gentleness, 
differed from him in opinion, and declared he 
could not think well of him, as he knew his lady, 
who was an amiable woman, was used very ill by 

" How, sir ? " cried Mr. B y. 

" I have known him," answered Mr. Selwyn, 
" frequently pinch her till she has been ready to cry 
with pain, though she has endeavoured to prevent 
its being observed." 

"And I," said Mrs. Thrale, "know that he 
pulled her nose, in his frantic brutality, till he 
broke some of the vessels of it ; and when she 
was dying she still found the torture he had given 
her by it so great, that it was one of her last 

The General, who is all for love and gallantry, 
far from attempting to vindicate his friend, quite 
swelled with indignation at this account, and, after 
a pause, big with anger, exclaimed, 

" Wretched doings, sir, wretched doings ! " 

" Nay, I have known him," added Mr. Selwyn, 
" insist upon handing her to her carriage, and then, 
with an affected kindness, pretend to kiss her 
hand, instead of which he has almost bit a piece 
out of it!" 

" Pitiful ! — pitiful ! sir," cried the General, " I 
know nothing more shabby ! " 

"He was equally inhuman to his daughter," 
said Mrs. Thrale, "for, in one of his rages, he 
almost throttled her." 

" Wretched doings ! " again exclaimed Mr. 

B y, " what ! cruel to a fair female ! Oh fie ! 

fie ! fie ! — a fellow who can be cruel to females and 
children, or animals, must be a pitiful fellow indeed. 
I wish we had had him here in the sea. I should 
like to have had him stripped, and that kind of 
thing, and been well banged by ten of our dippers 


here with a cat -o'- nine -tails. Cruel to a fair 
female ! Oh fie ! fie ! fie ! " 

I know not how this may read, but I assure you 
its sound was ludicrous enough. 

However, I have never yet told you his most 
favourite story, though we have regularly heard it 
three or four times a day ! — And this is about his 

" Some years ago," he says, — " let's see, how 
many ? in the year '71, — ay, '71, '72 — thereabouts — 
I was taken very ill, and, by ill-luck, I was per- 
suaded to ask advice of one of these Dr. Galli- 
pots : — oh, how I hate them all ! Sir, they are the 
vilest pick-pockets — know nothing, sir ! nothing in 
the world ! poor ignorant mortals ! and then they 
pretend — In short, sir, I hate them all ; I have 
suffered so much by them, sir — lost four years of 
the happiness of my life — let's see, '71, '72, '73, '74 
— ay, four years, sir ! — mistook my case, sir ! — and 
all that kind of thing. Why, sir, my feet swelled 
as big as two horses' heads ! I vow I will never 
consult one of these Dr. Gallipot fellows again ! 
lost, me, sir, four years of the happiness of my 
life ! — why I grew quite an object ! — you would 
hardly have known me ! — lost all the calves of 
my legs ! — had not an ounce of flesh left ! — and 
as to the rouge l — why, my face was the colour of 

that candle! — those Gallipot fellows! — why 

they robbed me of four years — let me see, ay, 
'71, '72 " 

And then it all goes over again ! 

This story is always a propos ; if health is 
mentioned, it is instanced to show its precarious- 
ness ; if life, to bewail what he has lost of it ; if 
pain, to relate what he has suffered ; if pleasure, 
to recapitulate what he has been deprived of; 
but if a physician is hinted at, eagerly, indeed, is 

1 Hers manifestly, the complexion. 


the opportunity seized of inveighing against the 
whole faculty. 

Tuesday was a very agreeable day indeed, and I 
am sure a merry one to me ; but it was all owing 
to the General, and I do not think you seem to 
have a true taste for him, so I shall give you but 
a brief account of my entertainment from him. 

We had a large party of gentlemen to dinner. 
Among them was Mr. Hamilton, commonly called 
Single-speech Hamilton, 1 from having made one 
remarkable speech in the House of Commons 
against government, and receiving some douceur 
to be silent ever after. This Mr. Hamilton is 
extremely tall and handsome ; has an air of haughty 
and fashionable superiority ; is intelligent, dry, sar- 
castic, and clever. I should have received much 
pleasure from his conversational powers, had I not 
previously been prejudiced against him, by hearing 
that he is infinitely artful, double, and crafty. 

The dinner conversation was too general to be 
well remembered ; neither, indeed, shall I attempt 
more than partial scraps relating to matters of what 
passed when we adjourned to tea. 

Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Selwyn, Mr. Tidy, and Mr. 
Thrale seated themselves to whist ; the rest looked 
on : but the General, as he always does, took up 
the newspaper, and, with various comments, made 
aloud, as he went on reading to himself, diverted 
the whole company. Now he would cry, " Strange ! 
strange that ! " — presently, " What stuff ! I don't 
believe a word of it ! " — a little after, "Oh, Mr. 
Bate, 2 I wish your ears were cropped ! " — then, 

1 William Gerard Hamilton, 1729-96, at this date M.P. for Wilton, and 
Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer. His famous maiden speech was 
delivered in 1755 when he was member for Petersfield. He had a house 
on the west side of the Steine, occupied after his death by Lord Mans- 
field's sister, Lady Anne Murray. 

2 Henry Bate, afterwards Sir Henry Bate Dudley, 1745-1824, editor of 
the Morning Post, and known popularly as the " Fighting Parson." 


" Ha ! ha ! ha ! funnibus ! funnibus ! indeed ! " — 
and, at last, in a great rage, he exclaimed, " What 
a fellow is this, to presume to arraign the conduct 
of persons of quality ! " 

Having diverted himself and us in this manner, 
till he had read every column methodically through, 
he began all over again, and presently called out, 
" Ha ! ha ! here's a pretty thing ! " and then, in 
a plaintive voice, languished out some wretched 

Although the only mark of approbation with 
which the company favoured these lines was laugh- 
ing at them, the General presently found something 
else equally bad, which he also praised, also read, 
and also raised a laugh at. 

A few minutes after he began puffing and blow- 
ing, with rising indignation, and, at last, cried out, 
" What a fellow is this ? I should not be at all 
surprised if General Burgoyne cut off both his 
ears ! " 

"You have great variety there," cried Mr. 

Hamilton drily ; " but I think, Mr. B y, you 

have read us nothing to-day about the analeptic 

Though we all smiled at this, the General, un- 
conscious of any joke, gravely answered, 

" No, sir ! I have not seen them yet, but I dare- 
say I shall find them by and by ! " 

And, by the time the next game was finished, 
he called out, " No ! I see nothing of the analeptic 
pills to-day ; but here's some Samaritan drops ! " 

Soon after he began to rage about some baronet, 
whose title began, Sir Carnaby. " Well," he cried, 
"what names people do think of! Here's another 
now, Sir Onesiphoras Paul ! why, now, what a 
name is that ! Poor human beings here, inventing 
such a name as that ! I can't imagine where they 
met with it : it is not in the Bible." 


" There you are a little mistaken ! " said Mr. 
Hamilton coolly. 

" Is it ? Well, I protest, Onesiphoras ! ha ! ha! " 

"But you don't exactly pronounce it right," 
returned Mr. Hamilton, "it is Onesiphom? — not 
as, as you say it." 

Mr. B y made no answer, but went on read- 
ing the newspaper to himself. 

Mr. Hamilton, who had now given his place at 
the w T hist-table to Mr. Bateson, related to us a very 
extraordinary cure performed by a physician, who 
would not write his prescriptions, " Because," said 
he, "they should not appear against him, as his 
advice was out of rule ; but the cure was performed, 
and I much honour, and would willingly employ 
such a man." 

" How ! " exclaimed Mr. B y, who always 

fires at the very name of a physician, " what ! let 
one of those fellows try his experiments upon you ? 
For my part, I'll never employ one again as long 
as I live ! I've suffered too much by them ; lost 
me five years of the happiness of my life — ever 
since the year — let's see, '71, '72 " 

"Mrs. Thrale," interrupted Mr. Hamilton, "I 
was in some hopes Dr. Johnson would have come 
hither with you." 

Mrs. Thrale answered him ; but Mr. B y 

went on. 

" One of those Dr. Gallipots, now — Heberden l 
attended a poor fellow I knew. ' Oh,' says he, 
' he'll do vastly well ! ' and so on, and so on, and all 
that kind of thing : but the next morning, when 
he called, the poor gentleman was dead ! There's 
your Mr. Heberden for you ! Oh, fie ! fie ! " 

" What will you do without them ? " said Mr. 

1 William Heberden, M.D., 1710-1801, one of Johnson's medical 


" Do, sir ? Why, live like men ! Who wants 
a pack of their nostrums ? I'll never employ one 
again while I live ! They mistook my case, sir ; 
they played the very devil with me ! Let me see, 
'71, '72 " 

" What ! " interrupted Mr. Hamilton, " are you 
seventy-two ? " 

The dry humour with which he asked this, set 

the whole company in a roar. Mr. B y angrily 


" No, sir, no ! no such thing ; but I say " 

And then he went on with his story : no calves 
to his legs ; mistook his case ; feet swelled as big 
as horses' heads; not an ounce of flesh; — and 
all the old phrases were repeated with so sad a 
solemnity, and attended to by Mr. Hamilton with 
so contemptuous a frigidity, that I was obliged to 
take up a newspaper to hide my face. Miss Thrale 
ran out of the room ; Mr. Selwyn laughed till 

he could hardly hold his cards ; Captain W 

hallooed quite indecently ; and Mr. Tidy shook all 
over as if he was in an ague : and yet the General 
never found it out. 

Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

St. Martin's Street, Dec. 1779. 

My dearest Daddy — I have deferred writing 
from day to day, in expectation of being able to fix 
some time for my long and most earnestly coveted 
visit to dear Chessington ; but my father's own 
movements have been so uncertain, that I found it 
impossible to tease him about fixing mine. At 
length, however, we have come to the point. He 
has desired me to sift for what room you have, and 
to sound as to convenience. Now I know the 
shortest way of doing this is by coming plump upon 
the question ; and, therefore, both to save myself 


the trouble of a long half- meaning, half- hinting, 
half-intelligible rigmarole, and you the trouble of 
vague suspicions, and puzzling conjectures, I think 
the best method is plainly to say, that, in about 
ten days, he thinks he can come to Chessington, if, 
without difficulty, you can then accommodate him. 

Not one word has he yet said about the rest of 
the family ; but I know he means not to travel 
solus : and I know, too, that it is not any secret to 
him that I, for one, build upon accompanying him, 
as a thing of course. 

I am extremely gratified by your approbation of 
my journal. Miss Birch, I do assure you, exists 
exactly such as I have described her. \l_never mix 
truth and fiction : all that I relate in journalising 
is strictly, nay plainly, fact. I never, in all my 
life, have been a sayer of the thing that is not ; and 
now I should be not only a knave but a fool also, 
in so doing, as I have other purposes for imaginary 
characters than filling letters with them. Give me 
credit, therefore, on the score of interest, and 
common sense, if not of principle. But, however, 
the world, and especially the Great world, is so 
filled with absurdity of various sorts, now bursting 
forth in impertinence, now in pomposity, now 
giggling in silliness, and now yawning in dulness, 
that there is no occasion for invention to draw 
what is striking in every possible species of the 

I hope to be very comfortable with you, when 
I can get to you. I will bring you the little sketch 
I made of the heroine you seem to interest your- 
self in, 2 and perhaps by your advice may again take 
her up, or finally let her rest. 

Adieu, dearest daddy ; kindest love to you from 
all quarters, — mostly from F. B. 

1 See facsimile at p. 312. 
2 Perhaps the forthcoming Cecilia. 

a a 


Miss Burney to Mr. Crisp — The troubles of popularity — Ladies' 
dress — Miss Burney's comedy of The Witlings — Sheridan's 
application to her — Plot and characters of The Witlings — 
Lord Sandwich — Captain Cook — His death — Hon. Capt. 
Walsingham — George III. and the navy — Dr. Hunter — Dr. 
Solander — Murphy — His oddities — Table-talk — Mr. Crisp 
to Miss Burney — Excellent advice about her comedy — 
Colley Cibber — Journal resumed — Pacchierotti — Journey to 
Bath — The Lawrence family at Devizes — The late President 
of the Royal Academy at ten years of age — Mr. W. Hoare — 
Arrival at Bath — Description of the place and company — 
Parties — Lady Miller's vase — Mrs. Montagu — The theatre 
— The Bowdler family — Dr. Woodward — Dr. Harrington — 
Mrs. Byron — Lord Mulgrave — The Hon. Augustus Phipps 
— Table-talk — Anecdotes of the late General Phipps — 
Illustrations of Evelina — Dr. Johnson — The Provost of Eton 
— Bath Society — Dean of Ossory — Mrs. Montagu — A Wit- 
ling — Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. Thrale contrasted — Letter 
from Mr. Crisp — The Duchess of Marlborough — A Scotch 
bishop — Duchess of Portland — Colley Cibber — Sheridan — 
Bath — Journal resumed — Lord Mulgrave — The Bowdler 
family — The Byrons — A pleasant meeting — A mistake — An 
evening party — A pretty poet — Mrs. Siddons as " Belvidera " 
— A pink and white poet — Anstey, author of the New Bath 

From Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

St. Martin's Street, January 22, 1780. 

My dearest Daddy — As this sheet is but to 
contain a sequel of what I writ last, not to aspire 
at being regarded as a separate or answer- claiming 
letter, I shall proceed without fresh preamble. 



You make a comique kind of inquiry about my 
"incessant and uncommon engagements." Now, 
my dear daddy, this is an inquiry I feel rather 
small in answering, for I am sure you expect to 
hear something respectable in that sort of way, 
whereas I have nothing to enumerate that com- 
mands attention, or that will make a favourable 
report. For the truth is, my "uncommon" en- 
gagements have only been of the visiting system, 
and my "incessant" ones only of the working 
party ; — for perpetual dress requires perpetual 
replenishment, and that replenishment actually 
occupies almost every moment I spend out of 
company. 1 

"Fact! fact!" I assure you,- — however paltry, 
ridiculous, or inconceivable it may sound. Caps, 
hats, and ribbons make, indeed, no venerable 
appearance upon paper ; — no more do eating and 
drinking ; — yet the one can no more be worn with- 
out being made, than the other can be swallowed 
without being cooked ; and those who can neither 
pay milliners nor keep scullions, must either toil 
for themselves, or go capless and dinnerless. So, 
if you are for a high-polished comparison, I'm your 
man ! 

Now, instead of furbelows and gewgaws of this 
sort, my dear daddy probably expected to hear of 
duodecimos, octavos, or quartos ! — Helas ! I am 
sorry that is not the case, — but not one word, no, 
not one syllable did I write to any purpose, from 
the time you left me at Streatham, till Christmas, 
when I came home. But now I have something 
to communicate concerning which I must beg 
you to give me your opinion. 

As my play was settled in its silent suppression, 

1 Costume was always a trouble to Miss Burney. Mr. R. O. Cam- 
bridge of Twickenham affirmed that " Miss B. had no time to write, for 
she was always working at her clothes." 


1 entreated my father to call on Mr. Sheridan, in 
order to prevent his expecting anything from me, 
as he had had a good right to do, from my having 
sent him a positive message that I should, in com- 
pliance with his exhortations at Mrs. Cholmonde- 
ley's, try my fortune in the theatrical line, and 
send him a piece for this winter. My father did 
call, but found him not at home, neither did he 
happen to see him till about Christmas. He then 
acquainted him that what I had written had en- 
tirely dissatisfied me, and that I desired to decline 
for the present all attempts of that sort. 

Mr. Sheridan was pleased to express great con- 
cern, — nay more, to protest he would not accept 
my refusal. He begged my father to tell me that 
he could take no denial to seeing what I had done 
— that I could be no fair judge for myself — that he 
doubted not but it would please, but was glad I 
was not satisfied, as he had much rather see pieces 
before their authors were contented with them 
than afterwards, on account of sundry small 
changes always necessary to be made by the 
managers, for theatrical purposes, and to which 
they were loth to submit when their writings were 
finished to their own approbation. In short, he 
said so much, that my father, ever easy to be 
worked upon, began to waver, and told me he 
wished I would show the play to Sheridan at once. 

This very much disconcerted me : I had taken 
a sort of disgust to it, and was myself most 
earnestly desirous to let it die a quiet death. 
I therefore cooled the affair as much as I con- 
veniently could, and by evading from time to time 
the conversation, it was again sinking into its old 
state, — when again Mr. Sheridan saw my father, 
and asked his leave to call upon me himself. 

This could not be refused. 

Well, — I was now violently fidgeted, and began 


to think of alterations, — and by setting my head 
to work, I have actually now written the fourth 
act from beginning to end, except one scene. — Mr. 
Sheridan, however, has not yet called, and I have 
so little heart in the affair, that I have now again 
quite dropped it. 

Such is the present situation of my politics. 
Now, I wish you much to write me your private 
opinion what I had best do in case of an emerg- 
ency. Your letters are always sacred, so pray 
write with your usual sincerity and openness. I 
know you too well to fear your being offended if 
things should be so managed that your counsel 
cannot be followed ; it will, at any rate, not be 
thrown away, since it will be a fresh proof of your 
interest in my affairs and my little self. 

My notions I will also tell you ; they are (in 
case I must produce this piece to the manager) : — 

To entirely omit all mention of the club ; — 

To curtail the parts of Smatter and Dabbler as 
much as possible ; — 

To restore to Censor his £5000 and not trouble 
him even to offer it ; — 

To give a new friend to Cecilia, 1 by whom her 
affairs shall be retrieved, and through whose 
means the catastrophe shall be brought to be 
happy ;— 

And to change the nature of Beaufort's con- 
nections with Lady Smatter, in order to obviate 
the unlucky resemblance the adopted nephew bears 
to our female pride of literature. 2 

This is all I have at present thought of. And 
yet, if I am so allowed, even these thoughts shall 
all turn to nothing ; for I have so much more fear 
than hope, and anxiety than pleasure, in thinking 

1 This shows there was a character in The Witlings who foreshadowed 
the heroine of Miss Burney's second book. 

2 Mrs. Montagu had adopted her nephew. 


at all of the theatre, that I believe my wisest way 
will be to shirk — which, if by evasive and sneaking 
means I can, I shall. 

Now concerning Admiral Jem ; — you have had 
all the accounts of him from my mother ; whether 
or not he has made any change in his situation 
we cannot tell. The Mormng Post had yesterday 
this paragraph : — 

" We hear Lieutenant Burney has succeeded to 
the command of Capt. Clerke's ship." 

That this, as Miss Waldron said of her hair, is 
all a falsity, 1 we are, however, certain, as Lord 
Sandwich has informed my father that the first 
lieutenant of poor Capt. Cook was promoted to 
the Discovery. Whether, however, Jem has been 
made first lieutenant of the Resolution, or whether 
that vacancy has been filled up by the second 
lieutenant of that ship, we are not informed. The 
letter from my admiral has not, it seems, been 
very clear, for I met the Hon. Capt. Walsingham 
last week on a visit, and he said he had been at 
court in the morning. "And the king," he con- 
tinued, "said to me, 'Why, I don't think you 
captains in the navy shine much in the literary 
way ! ' ' No, sir,' answered I, 'but then, in return, 
no more do your Majesty's captains in the army ' — 
except Burgoyne, 2 I had a good mind to say ! — 
but I did not dare." 

I shall give you some further particulars of my 
meeting this Capt. Walsingham in some future 
letter, as I was much pleased with him. 

I am sure you must have been grieved for poor 
Capt. Cook. 3 How hard, after so many dangers, 

1 Upon Cook's death, James Burney was transferred to the Discovery 
as first lieutenant. 

2 General John Burgoyne, 1723-92, of the Saratoga disaster, wrote 
several plays, The Maid of the Oaks, 1774, The Lord of the Manor, 1781, 
The Heiress, 1786, and Richard Coeur de Lion, 1786. 

3 Cook was killed by the natives of Owhyhee, February 14, 1779. 
The news had just reached England. 


so much toil, — to die in so shocking a manner — in 
an island he had himself discovered — among savages 
he had himself, in his first visit to them, civilised 
and rendered kind and hospitable, and in pursuit of 
obtaining justice in a cause in which he had himself 
no interest, but zeal for his other captain ! He 
nvas, besides, the most moderate, humane, and 
gentle circumnavigator who ever went out upon 
discoveries ; agreed the best with all the Indians, 
and, till this fatal time, never failed, however 
hostile they met, to leave them his friends. 

Dr. Hunter, 1 who called here lately, said that he 
doubted not but Capt. Cook had trusted them 
too unguardedly ; for as he always had declared 
his opinion that savages never committed murder 
without provocation, he boldly went among them 
without precautions for safety, and paid for his 
incautious intrepidity with his very valuable life. 

The Thrales are all tolerably well, — Mr. Thrale 
I think and hope much better. I go to them very 
often, and they come here certainly once every 
week, and Mrs. Thrale generally oftener. I have 
had some charming meetings at their house, which, 
though in brief, I will enumerate. 

At the first, the party was Mr. Murphy, Mr. 
Seward, Mr. Evans, Dr. Solander, 2 and Lady 
Ladd. Dr. Johnson had not then settled in the 

Mr. Evans is a clergyman, very intimate with the 
Thrales, and a good-humoured and a sensible man. 

Dr. Solander, whom I never saw before, I found 
very sociable, full of talk, information, and enter- 
tainment. My father has very exactly named him, 
in calling him a philosophical gossip. 

1 Perhaps John Hunter of the Museum in Leicester Fields, 1728-93. 
But there was another " Dr. " Hunter, who attended the Burney family. 

2 Daniel Charles Solander, 1736-82, botanist, had accompanied Cook in 
1768 in the Endeavour. At this date he was keeper of the printed books 
in the British Museum (see post, p. 320.) 


The others you have heard of frequently. 

Mr. Murphy " made at me " immediately ; — he 
took a chair next mine, and would talk to me, and 
to me only, almost all the day. He attacked me 
about my play, entreated me most earnestly to 
show him the rest of it, and made it many compli- 
ments. I told him that I had quite given it up 
— that I did not like it now it was done, and 
would not venture to try it, and therefore could 
not consent to show it. He quite flew at this — 
vowed I should not be its judge. 

" What ! " cried he, " condemn in this manner ! 
— give up such writing ! such dialogue ! such 
character ! No, it must not be. Show it me — 
you shall show it me. If it wants a few stage- 
tricks trust it with me, and I will put them in. 
I have had a long experience in these matters. 
I know what the galleries will and will not 
bear. I will promise not to let it go out of my 
hands without engaging for its success." 

This, and much more, he went on with in a low 
voice, obliging me by the nature of the subject to 
answer him in the same, and making everybody 
stare at the closeness of our confab, which I 
believe was half its pleasure to him, for he loves 
mischievous fun as much as if he was but sixteen. 

While we were thus discoursing, Mr. Seward, 
who I am sure wondered at us, called out, " Miss 
Burney, you don't hear Dr. Solander." I then 
endeavoured to listen to him, and found he was 
giving a very particular account to the company 
of Captain Cook's appearance at Khamschatka — 
a subject which they naturally imagined would 
interest me. And so indeed it did ; but it was in 
vain, for Mr. Murphy would not hear a word ; he 
continued talking to me in a whisper, and dis- 
tracted my attention in such a manner that I heard 
both and understood neither. 


Again, in a few minutes, Mr. Seward called out, 
" Miss Burney, you don't hear this " ; and yet my 
neighbour would not regard him, nor would allow 
that I should. Exhortation followed exhortation, 
and entreaty entreaty, till, almost out of patience, 
Mr. Seward a third time exclaimed, 

"Why, Miss Burney, Dr. Solander is speaking 
of your brother's ship." 

I was half ashamed, and half ready to laugh. 

"Ay," said Mrs. Thrale, "Mr. Murphy and 
Miss Burney are got to flirtation, so what care they 
for Captain Cook and Captain Gierke." 

" Captain Cook and Captain Clerke ? " repeated 
Mr. Murphy, — " who mentioned them ? " 

Everybody laughed. 

"Who?" said Mrs. Thrale. "Why Dr. 
Solander has been talking of them this hour." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed he, " why, then, it's Miss 
Burney's fault : she has been talking to me all this 
time on purpose to prevent my listening." 

Did you ever hear such assurance ? 

I can write no more particulars of my visit, as 
my letter is so monstrously long already ; but in 
conclusion, Dr. Solander invited the whole party 
to the Museum l that day week, and Lady Ladd, 
who brought me home, invited us all to dine with 
her after seeing it. This was by all accepted, and 
I will say something of it hereafter. I am very 
sorry I have forgot to ask for franks, and must not 
forget to ask your pardon. 

And so God bless you, my dear daddy ! and 
bless Mrs. Gast, Mrs. Ham, and Kitty, and do you 
say God bless your ever loving and affectionate 

F. B. 

1 See ante, p. 318 n. 


Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

Chessington, February 23, 1780. 

My dear Fannikin — Our letters crossed each 
other. I did not receive yours till the day after 
mine was sent off, otherwise I should not have 
then omitted what you seemed to require — my 
notions on the subject of Mr. Sheridan's impor- 
tunity. My great scruple all along has been the 
consideration of the great stake you are playing 
for, how much you have to lose, and how unequal 
your delicate and tender frame of mind would be 
to sustain the shock of a failure of success, should 
that be the case. You can't easily imagine how 
much it goes against me to say anything that looks 
like discouragement to a spirit already too diffident 
and apprehensive. Nothing but so rooted a regard 
for my Fannikin, and her peace and happiness, as 
I feel at this instant, could ever have prevailed on 
me to have used that freedom with her, which, 
though all authors pretend to insist on from the 
friends they consult, yet ninety-nine out of a 
hundred are offended at ; and not only so, but 
bear a secret grudge and enmity for the sincerity 
they have demanded, and in some measure extorted. 
I myself have met with and smarted for some 
instances of this kind ; but that shall not hinder 
me from delivering my real sentiments to those I 
love when called upon, and particularly my own 
creature, Fannikin, for I think I know her gener- 
osity too well to suspect her of taking amiss what 
can proceed from no motive but friendship and 

Well, then, this is my idea. The play has wit 
enough and enough — but the story and the inci- 
dents don't appear to me interesting enough to 
seize and keep hold of the attention and eager 
vol. i Y 


expectations of the generality of audiences. This, 
to me, is its capital defect. 

The omissions you propose are right, I think ; 
but how the business of the piece is to go on with 
such omissions and alterations as you mention, it is 
impossible for me to know. What you mean to 
leave out — the club and the larger share of S matter 
and Dabbler — seems to have been the main subject 
of the play. Cecilia's loss and unexpected restora- 
tion of her fortune, is not a new incident by any 
means ; however, anything is preferable to Censor's 
interfering in the business by his unaccountable 
generosity. 1 

Now, as to the very great importance, and 
indeed (to my thinking) the indispensable necessity, 
of an interesting plot or story, — let me recommend 
you to borrow, or get from the circulating library, 
An Apology for the Life of Mr, Colley Gibber. 
This book chance has thrown in my way since I 
last wrote to you ; and in running it over I very 
unexpectedly met with a full and copious detail 
of all my very thoughts on this subject, to a 
most minute exactness. The passage itself begins 
thus : 

" Reader — by your leave — I will but just speak 
a word or two to any author, that has not yet writ 
one word of his next play, and then I will come to 
my point again." 

He then goes on, ending with these words, 
viz. : — 

" I imagined these observations might convince 
some future author, of how great advantage a fable 
well planned must be to a man of any tolerable 
genius." 2 

The echo of my sentiments of the matter for 
these forty years past ! No man living was ever a 

1 See ante, p. 316. 

1 See ante, p. 316. 
2 Cibber's Apology, 1740, pp. 201-202 


better judge of stage interests and stage politics 
than Cibber. 

What to advise, I profess I know not — only 
thus much : I should have a much greater defer- 
ence for the opinion of Sheridan than of Murphy ; 
I take him in himself to be much deeper ; and he 
is besides deeply interested in the fate of whatever 
he brings forward on his own stage. Upon the 
whole, as he is so pressing to see what you have 
done, I should almost incline to consent. 

Your other daddy and madam were kind enough 
last Sunday to come on purpose from London to 
see me ; for which I think myself greatly obliged 
to them. They tell me of a delightful tour you 
are to make this autumn on the other side of the 
water, with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, Dr. Johnson, 
Mr. Murphy, etc. Where will you find such 
another set ? Oh, Fanny, set this down as the 
happiest period of your life ; and when you come 
to be old and sick, and health and spirits are fled 
(for the time may come), then live upon remem- 
brance, and think that you have had your share of 
the good things of this world, and say, — For what 
I have received, the Lord make me thankful ! 

And now, my Fanny, let me hear from you 
soon the result of your theatrical councils ; also a 
continuation of your own other adventures, and 
likewise (what you have hitherto shirked me of) 
the Susannitical Journal of Brighthelmstone. — 
Your loving daddy, S. C. 

Journal resumed 

Bath, April 7. — A thousand thanks, my dearest 
Susy, for your kind and very satisfactory letter. 
I had, indeed, been extremely anxious to hear of 
poor Pacchierotti, for the account of his illness in 
the newspapers had alarmed me very much. You 


are very good for being so circumstantial. I long 
to hear of his more perfect recovery, for, to use his 
own words, he has made himself an interest in my 
regard more than for his profession. Merely for 
the profession, never can I admire more passion- 
ately than I did Millico; 1 but I now consider 
Pacchierotti as an estimable friend, and as such I 
value him sincerely and affectionately, and you, I 
think, my little Susanna, are in this also of " one 
mind " with me. 

Don't be angry that I have been absent so long 
without writing, for I have been so entirely with- 
out a moment to myself, except for dressing, that 
I really have not had it in my power. This morn- 
ing, being obliged to have my hair dressed early, I 
am a prisoner, that I may not spoil it by a hat, 
and therefore I have made use of my captivity in 
writing to my dear Susy ; and, briefly, I will now 
chronicle what has occupied me hitherto. 

The journey was very comfortable ; Mr. Thrale 
was charmingly well and in very good spirits, and 
Mrs. Thrale must be charming, well or ill. We 
only went to Maidenhead Bridge the first night, 
where I found the caution given me by Mr. Smelt, 2 
of not attempting to travel near Windsor on a 
hunting-day, was a very necessary one, as we were 
with difficulty accommodated even the day after 
the hunt ; several stragglers yet remaining at all 
the inns, and we heard of nothing but the king and 
royal huntsmen and huntswomen. 

The second day we slept at Speen Hill, and the 
third day we reached Devizes. 

And here, Mrs. Thrale and I were much pleased 
with our hostess, Mrs. Lawrence, who seemed 
something above her station in her inn. While 

1 Giuseppe Millico, b. 1739, came to England in April 1772 (see Early 
Diary, 1889, i. 186). Miss Burney calls him "the divine Millico." 

2 Leonard Smelt, 1719-1800, Deputy-Governor to the Royal Princes. 


we were at cards before supper, we were much sur- 
prised by the sound of a pianoforte. I jumped up, 
and ran to listen whence it proceeded. I found it 
came from the next room, where the overture to 
the " Buona Figliuola " was performing. The 
playing was very decent, but as the music was 
not quite new to me, my curiosity was not whole 
ages in satisfying, and therefore I returned to finish 
the rubber. 

Don't I begin to talk in an old cattish manner 
of cards ? 

Well, another deal was hardly played, ere we 
heard the sound of a voice, and out I ran again. 
The singing, however, detained me not long, and 
so back I whisked : but the performance, however 
indifferent in itself, yet surprised us at the Bear at 
Devizes, and, therefore, Mrs. Thrale determined to 
know from whom it came. Accordingly, she tapped 
at the door. A very handsome girl, about thirteen 
years old, with fine dark hair upon a finely-formed 
forehead, opened it. Mrs. Thrale made an apology 
for her intrusion, but the poor girl blushed and 
retreated into a corner of the room : another girl, 
however, advanced, and obligingly and gracefully 
invited us in, and gave us all chairs. She was just 
sixteen, extremely pretty, and with a countenance 
better than her features, though those were also 
very good. Mrs. Thrale made her many compli- 
ments, which she received with a mingled modesty 
and pleasure, both becoming and interesting. She 
was, indeed, a sweetly-pleasing girl. 

We found they were both daughters of our 
hostess, and born and bred at Devizes. We were 
extremely pleased with them, and made them a long 
visit, which I wished to have been longer. But 
though those pretty girls struck us so much, the 
wonder of the family was yet to be produced. 
This was their brother, a most lovely boy of ten 


years of age, who seems to be not merely the wonder 
of their family, but of the times, for his astonishing 
skill in drawing. 1 They protest he has never had 
any instruction, yet showed us some of his produc- 
tions that were really beautiful. Those that were 
copies were delightful — those of his own composi- 
tion amazing, though far inferior. I was equally 
struck with the boy and his works. 

We found that he had been taken to town, and 
that all the painters had been very kind to him, 
and Sir Joshua Reynolds had pronounced him, the 
mother said, the most promising genius he had ever 
met with. Mr. Hoare 2 has been so charmed with 
this sweet boy's drawings that he intends sending 
him to Italy with his own son. 

This house was full of books, as well as paint- 
ings, drawings, and music ; and all the family seem 
not only ingenious and industrious, but amiable ; 
added to which, they are strikingly handsome. 

I hope we shall return the same road, that we 
may see them again. 

I forgot to mention that when we were at 
Reading, we walked to see Coley, the seat of Miss 
Thompsons, sisters-in-law of Sir Philip Jennings 
Gierke. The house is large, old-fashioned, new 
vamped, and rambling. 

I shall now skip to our arrival at this beautiful 
city, which I really admire more than I did, if 
possible, when I first saw it. The houses are so 
elegant, the streets are so beautiful, the prospects 
so enchanting. I could fill whole pages upon the 
general beauty of the place and country, but that 
I have neither time for myself, nor incitement for 
you, as I know nothing tires so much as description. 

1 Thomas Lawrence, 1769-1830, eventually Sir Thomas, and President 
of the Royal Academy. 

2 William Hoare, R.A., 1706-92. His plan was not carried out. The 
Lawrences moved to Oxford and Weymouth, then to Bath, and finally to 
London, where the young painter soon commanded a handsome income. 


We alighted at York House, and Mrs. Thrale 
sent immediately to Sir Philip Jennings Clerke, 
who spent the Easter holidays here. He came 
instantly, with his usual alacrity to oblige, and told 
us of lodgings upon the South Parade, 1 whither in 
the afternoon we all hied, and Mr. Thrale imme- 
diately hired a house at the left corner. It was most 
deliciously situated ; we have meadows, hills, Prior 
Park, 2 " the soft-flowing Avon " — whatever Nature 
has to offer, I think, always in our view. My room 
commands all these ; and more luxury for the eye 
I cannot form a notion of. 

We stayed that night, Friday, at York House, 
and Sir Philip Clerke supped with us, and came to 
breakfast the next morning. I am quite sorry this 
Sir Philip is so violent and so wrong in his political 
opinions and conduct, for in private life he is all 
gentleness, good breeding, and friendliness. I was 
very sorry, too, when he left us, which he was 
obliged to do at noon, and to quit Bath the 
next day. 

Well — we spent Saturday morn in removing 
hither, and then immediately followed an engage- 
ment. It was to spend the afternoon with some 
relations of Mrs. T. 

The relations were Mrs. C , an ugly, proud 

old woman, but marvellous civil to me ; Mr. L , 

a sensible man of eighty-two, strong, healthy, and 
conversable as he could have been at thirty-two ; 
his wife, a dull, muzzy old creature ; his sister, 
a ditto. 

Our afternoon was horribly wearying. 

When we came away, Mrs. Thrale ordered our 
chairs to the playhouse ; Mr. Thrale would not 
accompany us. We were just in time for The 

1 Smollett's " Matthew Bramble " also took lodgings in the South 

2 The seat of Fielding's " 'Squire Allworthy," the famous Bathonian, 
Ralph Allen (1694-1764). 


Padlock, 1 which was almost as bad to me as the 
company I had just left. Yet the performers here 
are uncommonly good : some of them as good as 
almost any we have in town. 

Sunday, — We went to St. James's Church, 
heard a very indifferent preacher, and returned to 
read better sermons of our own choosing. 

In the evening we had again an engagement. 
This, however, was far more agreeable than our 
last. It was at Mrs. Lambart's. 2 Mrs. Lambart 
is a widow of General Lambart, and a sister of Sir 
Philip Jennings. She is an easy, chatty, sensible 
woman of the world. 

There was a good deal of company; among them, 
all that I much observed were two clergymen and 
a Miss Lewis. 

One of the clergymen was Mr. W , 3 a young 

man who has a house on the Crescent, and is one 
of the best supporters of Lady Miller's vase at 
Bath Easton. 4 He is immensely tall, thin, and 
handsome, but affected, delicate, and sentimentally 
pathetic ; and his conversation about his own 
"feelings," about "amiable motives," and about 
the wind, which, at the Crescent, he said in a tone 
of dying horror, " blew in a manner really frightful !" 
diverted me the whole evening. But Miss Thrale, 
not content with private diversion, laughed out at 
his expressions, till I am sure he perceived and 
understood her merriment. 

The young lady, Miss Lewis, is a daughter of 

1 A comic opera by Isaac Bickerstaffe, d. 1812 (?). It was first pro- 
duced at Co vent Garden in 1 768. 

2 In Church Street. 

3 This was the Rev. Thomas Sedgewick Whalley, D.D., 1746-1828, 
Rector of Hagworthingham in Lincolnshire. He occupied the centre 
house in the Crescent. He was a refined dilettante, and art patron, 
Thomas Barker of Bath being one of his favourites. His Journals and 
Correspondence were edited in 1863 by the Rev. Hill Wickham. His 
portrait by Reynolds fully justifies the title given to him at Paris by 
Marie Antoinette of Le bel Anglais. 

4 See post, p. 415. 


the Dean of Ossory ; 1 she is very handsome, and 
mighty gay and giddy, half tonish, and half hoy- 
denish ; and every other word she utters is 

Well, I must now to Monday. 

In the morning Miss Gregory called ; she is here 
with Mrs. Montagu. She made a long visit, and 
she brought me a very polite message from sweet 
Mr. Smelt's daughter, Mrs. Cholmley, who had 
told Miss Gregory that her father had written to 
charge her to get acquainted with me, in terms too 
civil to repeat ; and she was very willing, but did 
not know how. 

" And so," said Miss Gregory, " I told her I 
would ask vou." 

I begged her to give my respects to Mrs. 
Cholmley, and to tell her I should certainly wait 
upon her. 

In the evening we had company at home, — 
Mrs. Lambart, Miss Gregory, and Mrs. Montagu. 

Mrs. Montagu was in very good spirits, and 
extremely civil to me, taking my hand, and express- 
ing herself well pleased that I had accompanied 
Mrs. Thrale hither. She was very flashy, and 
talked away all the evening ; but Miss Gregory 
was as much disposed to talk herself, and she took 
to me this night as she did to Mrs. Campbell at 
Mrs. Ord's, and, therefore, I could scarce hear a 
word that Mrs. Montagu said. 

[Bath, April 9. — Tuesday morning we spent in 
walking all over the town, viewing the beautiful 
Circus, the company-crowded Pump-room, and the 
exquisite Crescent, which, to ail the excellence of 
architecture that adorns the Circus, adds all the 
delights of nature that beautify the Parades. We 
also made various visits, and I called upon Mrs. 
Cholmley, but was not admitted, and also upon Miss 

1 John Lewis, Dean of Ossory, 1755-84. 


Bowdler, who was also invisible. We then went 
to Mrs. Lambart's, where we again met Miss Lewis, 
and heard abundance of Bath chit-chat and news, 
and were all invited for Friday to cards. I am, 
however, determined never to play but when we are 
quite alone, and a fourth is indispensably wanted. 
I have, therefore, entreated Mrs. Thrale not to 
make known that I can. 

In the evening we went to the play, and saw The 
School for Scandal and The Critic ; both of them 
admirably well acted, and extremely entertaining. 

Wednesday,'] in the morning, Miss Bowdler 1 re- 
turned my visit : I was glad to see her, for old 
acquaintance' sake. She does not look well, but is 
more agreeable than formerly, and seems to have 
thrown aside her pedantry and ostentatious display 
of knowledge ; and, therefore, as she is very sensible, 
and uncommonly cultivated, her conversation and 
company are very well worth seeking. I introduced 
her to Mrs. Thrale, which I saw was a great grati- 
fication, as she had long known her by fame, and 
wished much to be presented to her. 

[We had much talk of Teignmouth, and I 
inquired about my old friend Mr. Crispen, who 
I find now lives at Clifton. 

Mrs. Thrale inquired of Miss Bowdler if she 
knew anything of Miss Cooper, and where she 
lived ? And then Miss Bowdler, in a very re- 
spectful manner, begged permission to invite us all 
to meet Miss Cooper at her father's, for that very 
evening, as Mrs. Montagu was also engaged there ; 
and Mrs. Thrale, with her usual frankness and 
good humour, accepted the invitation without 
further ceremony. 

Accordingly,] in the afternoon we all went to 
Alfred Buildings, where Mr. Bowdler lives. He 

1 Frances Bowdler, sister of Thomas Bowdler of the expurgated Family 
Shakespeare, 1818. Miss Burney had met her at Teignmouth in 1773. 


was not at home, but his wife and two daughters 
did the honours. 

We found Mrs. Montagu, Miss Gregory, Miss 
Cooper, and Mrs. Sydney Lee already assembled. 

This Mrs. Sydney Lee is a maiden sister of the 
famous rebel General. 1 She is a very agreeable 

Miss Cooper you must have heard of: she is 
Miss Streatfield's darling friend, and a very amiable 
and gentle old maid. I have seen her twice at 

Mrs. Bowdler is very sensible and intelligent, 
and my namesake 2 was very rational and enter- 

Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. Thrale both flashed 
away admirably ; but I was again engrossed by 
Miss Gregory, who raved of nothing but Mr. 

When we returned home I found a note from 
Mrs. Cholmley, 3 [the most elegantly civil that ever 
was written, apologising for not having called upon 
me on account of her indifferent state of health, 
expressing her desire to be known to a daughter 
of Dr. Burney, for whom, she says, she must ever 
retain the highest esteem and respect, and] inviting 
me to meet Mrs. Montagu on Friday. 

I was already engaged to a large party at 
Mrs. Lambart's, but my kind Mrs. Thrale, per- 
ceiving which way my inclination led, undertook 
to make my apologies for the beginning of the 
evening, and to allow me to join her after my own 
visit was paid. I therefore wrote my thanks to 
Mrs. Cholmley, and accepted her invitation. 

Thursday. — The kindness of this family seems 

1 Charles Lee, 1731-82, an English officer who had joined the insur- 
gent American colonies. He was at one time second in command to 
Washington, but had retired in 1779 after being court -martialled for 

2 i.e. Frances Bowdler. 3 In the Circus. 


daily to increase towards me ; not indeed that of 
Mrs. Thrale, for it cannot, so sweetly and delight- 
fully she keeps it up ; she has not left herself power 
to do more ; — but Mr Thrale evidently interests 
himself more and more about me weekly — as does 
his fair daughter. 

This morning a milliner was ordered to bring 
whatever she had to recommend, I believe, to our 
habitation, and Mr. Thrale bid his wife and daughter 
take what they wanted, and send him the account. 

But, not content with this, he charged me to do 
the same. You may imagine if I did. However, 
finding me refractory, he absolutely insisted upon 
presenting me with a complete suit of gauze lino, 1 
and that in a manner that showed me a refusal 
would greatly disoblige him. And then he very 
gravely desired me to have whatever I pleased at 
any time, and to have it added to his account. 
And so sincere I know him to be, that I am sure 
he would be rather pleased than surprised if I 
should run him up a new bill at this woman's. 
He would fain have persuaded me to have taken 
abundance of other things, and Mrs. Thrale seemed 
more gratified than with what he did for herself. 
Tell my dear father all this. 

Dr. Woodward called this morning. He is a 
physician here, and a chatty, agreeable man. 

At dinner, we had Dr. Harrington, 2 another 
physician, and my father's friend and correspondent, 
upon whose account he was excessively civil to me. 
He is very sensible, keen, quiet, and well-bred. 

In the evening we were all engaged to the 
Belvidere, to visit Mrs. Byron, 3 who arrived at 
Bath two days before. 

1 A silk gossamer stuff (Davies's Supplemental Glossary). 

2 Dr. Henry Harington, 1727-1816, was a famous Bath physician and 
musician. He was a friend of Dr. Burney and Rauzzini. 

3 Sophia Trevannion, wife of Rear -Admiral John Byron of the 
Narrative, 1723-86, and grandmother of Lord Byron. 


The Belvidere is a most beautiful spot ; it 
is on a high hill, at one of the extremities of 
the town, of which, as of the Avon and all the 
adjacent country, it commands a view that is quite 

Poor Mrs. Byron is very far from well, though 
already better than when I last saw her in town ; 
but her charming spirits never fail her, and she 
rattled and shone away with all the fire and 
brilliancy of vigorous health. Augusta 1 is much 
improved in her person, but preserves the same 
engaging simplicity of manners that distinguished 
her at Brighthelmstone. She was quite overjoyed 
at meeting me, and talked quite in raptures of 
renewing our acquaintance and seeing me often. 
I never hardly met with so artless an enthusiasm 
for what she loves as in this fair Augusta, 
whom I must love in return, whether I will 
or not. 

In our way home we stopped at the theatre, and 
saw the farce of the " Two Misers " 2 — wretched, 
wretched stuff indeed ! 

Friday, — In the evening I had to make my 
first visit to Mrs. Cholmley, and a most formidable 
business it was, for she had had company to 
dinner, and a formal circle was already formed 
when my name was announced ; added to which, 
as I knew not the lady of the house from her 
guests, you may imagine I entered the room 
without astonishing the company by my brass. 
Mrs. Cholmley made it as little awkward as she 
could to me, by meeting me almost at the door. 
She received me in a most elegant manner, making 
all sorts of polite speeches about my goodness in 
making the first visit, and so forth. She seems 

1 Augusta Barbara Charlotte, Admiral Byron's third daughter, who 
afterwards married Viee-Admiral Christopher Parker, and d. 1824. 

2 A musical farce by Kane O'Hara, 1714-82, acted at Co vent Garden 
in 1775. 



very gentle and well-bred, and perfectly amiable 
in character and disposition. 

The party I found assembled was Mrs. Montagu, 
Mrs. Poyntz, a relation of Lady Spencer, Miss 
Gregory, Lord Mulgrave, Hon. Augustus Phipps, 
Sir Cornwallis Maud, Mr. Cholmley, Miss Ann 
Cholmley, and one or two more that I did not 
hear named. 

Mrs. Cholmley very obligingly placed me be- 
tween herself and Miss Gregory, who is now 
become the most intimate acquaintance I have 
here, and I find her far more agreeable than I 
believed she could have been. Mrs. Cholmley and 
I talked of nothing but our fathers ; l she told me 
I could not have more affection and respect for 
her father than she had for mine ; and I told her 
that if we should make any acquaintance with 
each other, I hoped nothing but good would come 
of it, for no connection ever had a more dutiful 
foundation ; and then we went on, she praising 
Dr. Burney, and I Mr. Smelt, till our party 
lessened, and all the gentlemen were gone. 

Mrs. Poyntz, then, who had been at our side 
of the room, went over to Mrs. Montagu, who 
whispered her, and looked towards me. 

" Ay," said Miss Gregory, " Mrs. Montagu has 
just now, I believe, found out Miss Burney." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Montagu, smiling at me, " I 
never knew her till this moment ; but it was very 
cruel in you, Miss Gregory, to let me remain so 
long in ignorance ; you know I cannot see any- 
body three yards off. I asked my Lord Mulgrave 
who it was, but he could not tell me ; and I 
asked Sir Cornwallis, but he did not know ; at last 
Mrs. Poyntz informed me." 

By the way, that Mrs. Poyntz is a very sensible 

1 Dr. Burney and Mr. Smelt. Mr. Smelt (see ante, p. 324) was a great 
favourite with George III. 


old gentlewoman. Of Lord Mulgrave and Sir 
Cornwallis I saw too little to speak. 

I was obliged now to take my own leave ; and 
Mrs. Montagu, when I was departing, arose and 
followed me, and took my hand, and inquired 
earnestly concerning Mr. Thrale, who is a great 
favourite with her, and was all graciousness to 
me : and Mrs. Cholmley made me promise to 
repeat my visit ; and all did wondrous well. 

Mr. Cholmley handed me to the chair, and I 
then proceeded to Mrs. Lambart's. Here I found 
two rooms with company : whist-players in one, 
and a commerce party in the other. Fortunately, 
I escaped the latter by being very late. Among 
the folks were the Dean of Ossory, who is a 
well-bred gentlemanlike dean, Mrs. Lewis, his 
wife, a very civil woman, and his daughter, etc. 

When I had given an account of my preceding 
visit to my own friends, Mrs. Lambart made me 
sit next her, for she did not play herself, and we 
had some very comfortable talk till the commerce 
table broke up, and then a certain Miss Willis 
came to my other side, and entered into conver- 
sation with me very facetiously. A mighty good- 
natured, foolish girl. 

While we were prating, Mr. E , the clergy- 
man I have mentioned before, joined us, and told 
Miss Willis how to call herself in Latin. 

" Go," said he, " to your father, and say, ' How 
do you do, Mr. Voluntas-est ? ' " 

This conceited absurdity diverted her and Miss 
Lewis amazingly. 

*' But, dear ! " she cried, " it's so long I shan't 
remember it. I do think Latin words sound very 
odd. I daresay, Miss Burney, you know Latin 
very well ? " 

I assured her to the contrary. 

" Well," said the little fool, " I know one word." 


"Do you ? pray what is it ? " 
"Why, it's cogitabund. It's a very droll 
word." 1 

Monday. — Lord Mulgrave, 2 Augustus Phipps, 
Miss Cooper, Dr. Harrington, and Dr. Woodward 
dined with us. 

I like Lord Mulgrave very much. He has more 
wit, and a greater readiness of repartee, than any 
man I have met with this age. During dinner 
he was all brilliancy, but I drew myself into a 
little scrape with him, from which I much 
wanted some of his wit to extricate myself. Mrs. 
Thrale was speaking of the House of Commons, 
and lamenting that she had never heard any 
debates there. 

" And now," said she, " I cannot, for this 
General Johnson has turned us all out most 

" General Johnson ? " repeated Lord Mulgrave. 

"Ay, or colonel — I don't know what the man 
was, but I know he was no man of gallantry." 

" Whatever he was," said his lordship, " I hope 
he was a land officer." 

" I hope so, too, my lord," said she. 

" No, no, no," cried Mr. Thrale, " it was Com- 
modore Johnson." 

" That's bad, indeed ! " said Lord Mulgrave, 
laughing. " I thought, by his manners, he had 
belonged to the army." 

" True," said I : " they were hardly polished 
enough for the sea." 

This I said a demi-voix, and meant only for 

1 Thoughtful. The word is not in Johnson, but the Supplemental 
Glossary of Davies gives examples of its use from Tom Brown and 

2 Constantine John Phipps, second Baron Mulgrave, 1744-92. In 1777 
he was a Lord of the Admiralty, and in 1778 commanded the Courageous 
with distinction in the Ushant expedition. 


Mrs. Thrale ; but Lord Mulgrave heard and drew 
up upon them, and pointing his finger at me with 
a threatening air, exclaimed, 

" Don't you speak, Miss Burney ? What's 
this, indeed ? " 

They all stared, and to be sure I rouged * pretty 

"I did not expect this from you," continued 
he, " but take care ! I shall tell you of it a 
twelvemonth hence ! " 

I could not, at the moment, understand him, 
but I afterwards found he was thinking of poor 
Jem, and meant to threaten me with putting the 
quarrel into his hands. And so, for more reasons 
than one, I only answered by laughing. 

" Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale, " should be 
more respectful to be sure, for she has a brother 
at sea herself." 

" I know it," said he, " and for all her, we shall 
see him come back from Kamschatka as polished a 
beau as any he will find." 

Poor Jem ! God send him safe back, polished 
or rough. 

Lord Mulgrave's brother Edmund is just 
entered into the army. 

"He told me t'other day," said his lordship, 
"that he did not like the thoughts of being a 

" ' Very well,' said I, ' you are old enough to 
choose for yourself ; what will you be then ? ' 

" * Why, a soldier,' says he. 

" ' A soldier ? will you so ? Why then the 

1 Blushed. Like Mme. de Sevigne, Miss Burney possessed an 
" extreme faciliU a rougir." " Nobody," she writes elsewhere, " I believe, 
has so very little command of countenance as myself." "Poor Fanny's 
face," said her father, "tells us what she thinks, whether she will or 
no" {Early Diary, 1889, i. lxxxii.). Mrs. Delany had the same gift of 
sensibility. "She was almost the only person he ever saw," Burke told 
Hannah More, "who at eighty-eight blushed like a girl" (H. More's 
Memoirs, 1834, ii. 97). 




best thing you can do is to embark with your 
brother Henry immediately, for you won't know 
what to do in a regiment by yourself.' Well, no 
sooner said than done ! Henry was just going to 
the West Indies in Lord Harrington's regiment, 
and Edmund ordered a chaise, and drove to 
Portsmouth after him. The whole was settled in 
half an hour." 

Curious enough. But I am sorry Edmund has 
taken this freak. He is an amiable young man, 
and I had rather he had kept clear of this fighting 
system, and "things of that sort." 

In the evening, we had our company enlarged. 
Mrs. Montagu came first, and was followed by 
Miss Gregory, Mrs. Sydney Lee, Mrs. Bowdler, 
and Fanny Bowdler. 

While I made tea, Lord Mulgrave sat next 
to me, and with a comical mock resentment told 
me he had not yet forgiven me for that sneer at his 

" However," he added, " if I can be of any use 
to you here at the tea-table, out of neighbourly 
charity, I will." 

I declined his offer with thanks, but when I 
was putting away the tea-chest, 

" So," he cried, taking it from me, " cannot 
I put that down ? am I not polished enough for 

And afterwards, upon other similar opportu- 
nities, he said, 

" So you are quite determined not to trust 
me ? 

Wednesday. — I received Charlotte's most agree- 
able account of Edward's stained drawings from 
Evelina, 1 and I am much delighted that he means 

1 Charlotte Burney's letter is printed in the Early Diary, 1889, ii. pp. 
288-91. The "stained drawings" were three designs for Evelina, in 
which Mme. Duval, Captain Mirvan, Mr. Villars, the heroine and her 


them for the Exhibition, and that we shall thus 
show off together. His notion of putting a 
portrait of Dr. Johnson into Mr. Villars's parlour 
was charming. I shall tell the doctor of it in my 
next letter, for he makes me write to him. 

In the evening we had Mrs. Lambart, who 
brought us a tale, called Edwy and Edilda, 1 by the 

sentimental Mr. W , and unreadably soft, and 

tender, and senseless it is. 

Thursday morning, April 13. — I am now come 
to the present time, and will try, however brief, to 
be tolerably punctual. 

Dr. Johnson has sent a bitter reproach to Mrs. 
Thrale of my not writing to him, for he has not 
yet received a scrawl I have sent him. He says 
Dr. Barnard, 2 the provost of Eton, has been singing 
the praises of my book, and that old Dr. Lawrence 3 
has read it through three times within this last 
month ! I am afraid he will pass for being super- 
annuated for his pains ! 

" But don't tell Burney this," adds Dr. Johnson, 
" because she will not write to me, and values me 
no more than if I were a Branghton ! " 

Our party to-night at the Dean of Ossory's has 
by no means proved enchanting, yet Mrs. Montagu 
was there, and Hoare, the painter, 4 and the agree- 
able Mrs. Lambart. But I was unfortunate enough 
not to hear one word from any of them, by being 
pestered with witlings all the night. 

First I was seated next the eldest Miss L , 5 

not the pretty girl I have mentioned, Charlotte, 

father, were all introduced. Archdeacon Burney, of Surbiton, has one 
of these delicate little pictures, which were exhibited at the Royal 
Academy in 1780 (Nos. 418-20). Edward Burney 's heroine is said to 
have resembled the beautiful Sophia Streatfield. 

1 This was a tale in verse, and in five parts, published in 1779. Miss 
Seward, unlike Miss Burney, called it her "poetic darling." 

2 Dr. Edward Barnard, 1717-81, Provost of Eton and Canon of Windsor. 

3 Dr. Thomas Lawrence, 1711-83, the friend and physician of Johnson. 

4 See ante, p. 326. 5 Lewis. 


who is the second daughter. This Miss L is 

very heavy and tiresome, though she was pleased 
to promise to call upon me, and to cultivate 
acquaintance with me, in most civil terms. 

This was my fag till after tea, and then Mr. 

E joined us ; I have always endeavoured to 

shirk this gentleman, who is about as entertaining 
and as wise as poor Mr. Pugh, but for whom not 
having the same regard, I have pretty soon enough 
of him ; and so, as I rather turned away, he 
attacked Miss L , and I spent another half- 
hour in hearing them. 

After this, he aimed at me downright, inquiring 
if I had been at Bath before, and so forth, and a 
mighty insipid discourse ensued. 

This lasted till Miss L proposed a " miss " 

party in the next room. Accordingly, off we 
moved ; Miss Gregory went first, and I was 
following, when she ran back, and said the Dean 
was there writing. I would then also have made 
off, but he came out after us, and taking my hand, 
would lead me into his library, protesting he had 
just sealed his letter. And then the other misses 

followed, and that wearisome Mr. E , and 

another young man yet sillier. 

The dean is very musical, and was much dis- 
appointed, I believe, that I did not play to him. 
However, we had a good deal of talk together, and 
he promised to contrive for me a hearing of Miss 
Guest, a lady whose pianoforte - playing 1 have 
heard extolled by all here, and whom I shall be 
much obliged to him for meeting with. 

Soon after we went to join the party in the 
next room. And then two hours, I believe, 
were consumed in the most insipid manner 
possible. I will give you a specimen, though, to 
judge of. 

Mr. E. — "I never had the pleasure of being in 


company with Mrs. Montagu before — I was quite 
pleased at it." 

And yet the booby could not stay where she 
was ! 

" Mrs. Montagu ! let's see," he continued, " pray, 
Miss Burney, did she not write Shakspeare Moral- 

I simpered a little, I believe, but turned to Miss 
Gregory to make the answer. 

"No, sir," said she, "only an Essay on the 
Genius of Shakspeare." 

" I think," said this wight, " nobody must have 
so much pleasure at a play as Mrs. Montagu, if it's 
well done ; if not, nobody must suffer so much, for 
that's the worst of too much knowledge, it makes 
people so difficult." 

"Ay, that is to say," said the other wiseacre, 
"that the more wisdom, the less happiness." 

" That's all the better," said Miss L , " for 

there are more people in the world ignorant than 

"Very true," said Mr. E ; "for, as Pope 


" If ignorance is bliss, 
'Tis folly to be wise." 1 

Pope says ! Did you ever hear such "witlings " ? 
But I won't write a word more about the evening 
— it was very stupid, and that's enough. 

We see Mrs. Montagu very often, and I have 
already spent six evenings with her at various 

I am very glad at this opportunity of seeing so 
much of her ; for, allowing a little for parade and 
ostentation, which her power in wealth, and rank 
in literature, offer some excuse for, her conversation 

1 Gray's " Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," last lines. 


is very agreeable ; she is always reasonable and 
sensible, and sometimes instructive and enter- 
taining ; and I think of our Mrs. Thrale, we may 
say the very reverse, for she is always entertaining 
and instructive, and sometimes reasonable and 
sensible ; and I write this because she is just now 
looking over me — not but what I think it too ! 

Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

April 27, 1780. 

My dear Fannikin — I am very glad you are 
now with the Thrales, in the midst of the Bath 
circle. Your time could not be better employed, 
for all your St. Martin's daddy wanted to retain 
you for some other purpose. You are now at 
school, the great school of the world, where swarms 
of new ideas and new characters will continually 
present themselves before you, 

which you'll draw in, 
As we do air, fast as 'tis ministered ! 1 

My sister Gast, in her younger days, was a great 
favourite with an old lady who was a particular 
crony and intimate of old Sarah Marlborough, who, 
though much of the jade, had undoubtedly very 
strong parts, and was indeed remarkably clever. 
When Mrs. Hinde (the old lady) would sometimes 
talk to her about books, she'd cry out, " Prithee, 
don't talk to me about books ; I never read any 
books but men and cards ! " But let anybody read 
her book, 2 and then tell me if she did not draw 
characters with as masterly a hand as Sir Joshua 

1 Cymbeline, Act. I. Sc. i. (not textual). 

2 The Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, 
1742, was said to be dictated by her to Nathaniel Hooke, the younger, 
d. 1763, who received a suspiciously large sum for his services as scribe. 


The portion you allowed me of your Tunbridge 
and Brighton Journal I sucked in with much 
pleasure and avidity. Why, you have begun 
already, and make good what I have said above — 
you take down whatever you see. Sophy Streat- 
field's mother is a character entirely new, and 
strongly marked. I pronounce it to be like, and, 
though to a degree uncommon, is natural. 

I am glad the Attorney-General is a Scotchman, 
for I have heard it is a settled observation, that the 
Scotch, though deeply learned, great lawyers, great 
philosophers, physicians, historians, mathematicians, 
etc., are remarkable for having no turn, neither 
talents nor relish, for humour. Does not one of 
the letters in Swift's works speak of some bishop 
who was a Scot, and when asked his opinion of 
Gullivers Travels, wondered how people could 
read such a heap of nonsensical, improbable lies ? 
I hope Mr. Wedderburne is a better judge of law 
than of satire and ridicule ! 

Mrs. Montagu, too ! How it flatters me to have 
my idea of her, formed above thirty years ago, 
confirmed by this instance. 

I believe I have told you of several letters the 
Duchess of Portland showed me of hers formerly 
(for I had no acquaintance with herself), so full 
of affectation, refinement, attempts to philosophise, 
talking metaphysics — in all which particulars she so 
bewildered and puzzled herself and her readers, and 
showed herself so superficial, nay, really ignorant 
in the subjects she paraded on — that, in my own 
private mind's pocket-book, I set her down for a 
vain, empty, conceited pretender, and little else. I 
know I am now treading on tender ground ; there- 
fore mum for your life, or rather for my life. Were 
Mrs. Thrale to know of my presumption, and that 
I dare to vent such desperate treason to her play- 
mate, what would she say to me ? 


You take no notice of several particulars I want 
to hear of. Your unbeautiful, clever heroine, 1 beset 
all round for the sake of her great fortune — what 
is become of her ? I am persuaded she'd make her 
own fortune, whatever were the fate of her hunters. 
The idea is new and striking, and presents a large 
field for unhackneyed characters, observations, 
subjects for satire and ridicule, and numberless 
advantages you'd meet with by walking in such 
an untrodden path. 

Have you yet met with Colley Cibber, and read 
the passage I recommended to you ? 2 

I can't say I am sorry your affair with Mr. 
Sheridan is at present at a stand. In the mean- 
time, the refusal coming from yourself, and not the 
manager, tells highly in your favour : your coyness 
will tend to enhance your fame greatly in public 

'Tis expectation makes the blessing dear ! 3 

Your loving daddy, 

S. C. 

Journal resumed 

Bath, Friday, — This evening we have all been 
at Mrs. Montagu's, where we met Mrs. and Miss 
Bowdler, Lord Mulgrave, Mr. Cholmley, and Miss 
Cooper. Miss Gregory, of course. Poor Mrs. 
Cholmley never ventures out of her own house in 
an evening, as her health is extremely delicate. 

We had a very entertaining evening, for Mrs. 
Montagu, Mrs. Thrale, and Lord Mulgrave talked 
all the talk, and talked it so well, no one else had a 
wish beyond hearing them. 

1 A reference to the first sketch of Cecilia (see ante, p. 312). 

2 See ante, p. 322. 

3 Sir John Suckling, Against Fruition (not textual). 



Just before we came away, Miss Bowdler, who 
had been seated so far from me that I had not once 
spoken with her, crossed over to me, and said, 

" I have been longing this great while to get to 
you, but could not bear to cross the circle ; but 
there is a lady now at Bath, an acquaintance of 
mine, who wishes most eagerly to be an acquaint- 
ance of yours. She is a relation of Mr. Crisp." 

" Mr. Crisp ? " exclaimed I. " Don't you mean 
Mr. Crispen?" 1 

" No, Mr. Crisp ! " repeated she ; " and this lady 
wishes to see you so much." 

" Oh, so do I to see her," quoth I, " if she is a 
relative of Mr. Crisp ! " 

" I have promised," continued she, " to endeavour 
to introduce her to you : will you, therefore, be so 
good as to meet her at my house ? " 

" Oh, with the greatest pleasure in the world, at 
any time you please ! " 

" She has heard a great deal of you, and has seen 
some of your letters, and is so impatient that the 
first moment you can spare " 

We then immediately settled next Monday 
morning, when I shall breakfast with them. 

I am much delighted with the prospect of seeing 
a relation of my beloved daddy ; but I am very 
much concerned, nay, and hurt, and half angry, that 
this lady, whose name it seems is Leigh, should have 
seen any of my letters. It is not fair, and I am 
sure it is not pleasant ; however, I shall write to 
Chessington about it. 

I have one packet ready for him, which I shall 
send to-morrow. I dare not scold in that, because 
I am so much in arrears, I have not assurance ; 
but when I get out of that shame I shall at both 

1 Mr. Crispen of Bath — " a half name-sake of my dear Daddy Crisp " — 
is mentioned in Fanny's "Teignmouth Journal" of 1773 (Early Diary, 
1889, i. 220). 


him and Mrs. Gast, whom I believe to be an 

Saturday. — We walked in the beautiful meadows 
round the city all the morning, and went to drink 
tea with the ugly Mrs. C in the evening. 

But no more of the beauty of meadows, or 
ugliness of poor old women, for I must now speak, 
and thank you (I would, if I knew how) for your 
very delightful packet, with the account of Rinaldo. 
You do very well to compassionate me for missing 
such a rehearsal — I was half moped in reading it ; 
yet your relation, my dearest Susy, is the very next 
best thing to having been there, because it is so 
circumstantial, so warm, and so full of feeling. Oh, 
that I could but have been with you ! Pacchierotti's 
having so much to do in the cantabile style is just 
what I have always wished, and I was almost 
thrilled only with your account of his energy, and 
fire, and exertion in his last song. Oh, that I could 
but have heard him ! Do, pray, tell him how much 
I repine at my unfortunate absence. 

April 29. — It is such an age since I have 
written, that had I not kept memorandums in my 
tablets, I could not possibly give any account of 
our proceedings. 

But I shall begin where I left off, with again 
thanking you for your long relation of sweet 
Pacchierotti's visit after his illness, and for your 
design of making him begin his letter sur-le-champ ; 
but in truth, I'm a little disappointed that he makes 
me wait so long. It will be very good-natured in 
you to tease him for me ; but of all things I desire 
you not to help him ; for much as I love your 
letters, I hate even Garrick thus at second hand, 1 
and would not give a fig a-dozen for compilations 

1 " She [Miss Burney] had never seen or heard a line of Churchill," 
says Lord Macaulay {Edinburgh Review, January 1843, p. 526). But this 
is a line from Churchill's Bosciad (Poems, 4th ed., 1769, i. 17). 


of that sort. His note to Sheridan made me laugh, 
yet it much surprised me. Oh, these Italians ! no 
meekness can guard them from the rage of revenge ; 
yet I do most firmly believe nothing but almost 
intolerable ill-usage would provoke it in our Pac. 

[You managed very kindly for me in what you 
produced of my letter to him ; and I wonder, 
indeed, in what, if you managed at all, you would 
not manage kindly for me. I am rather dis- 
appointed by your character of Miss Harrop ; 
but the description of the benefit and the crowd 
diverted me so much, that I read it in public, and 
it merry fled us all.] 

Now back to my memorandums. 

Sunday. — We had Mrs. Byron and Augusta, 
and Mrs. Lee, to spend the afternoon. Augusta 
opened her whole heart to me, as we sat together, 
and told me all the affairs of her family. Her 
brother, Captain George Byron, 1 is lately returned 
from the West Indies, and has brought a wife with 
him from Barbadoes, though he was there only 
three weeks, and knew not this girl he has married 
till ten days before he left it. [A pleasant circum- 
stance for this proud family !] 

Poor Mrs. Byron seems destined for mortifica- 
tion and humiliation ; yet such is her native fire, 
and so wonderful are her spirits, that she bears up 
against all calamity, and though half mad one day 
with sorrow and vexation, is fit the next to enter- 
tain an assembly of company ; — and so to entertain 
them as to make the happiest person in the com- 
pany, by comparison with herself, seem sad. 

Augusta is a very amiably-ingenuous girl, and 
I love her the more for her love of her sisters : 
she talked to me of them all, but chiefly of Sophia, 
the youngest next to herself, but who, having an 

1 George Anson Byron, 1758-93, married Charlotte Henrietta Dallas, of 
Dallas Castle, Jamaica. 


independent fortune, has quarrelled with her mother, 
and lives with one of her sisters, Mrs. Byron, 1 who 
married a first cousin, and son of Lord Byron. 

" Ah, Miss Burney," she says continually, " if 
you knew Sophy, you would never bear me ! she 
is so much better than I am, — and so handsome, 
and so good, and so clever, — and I used to talk to 
her of you by the hour together. She longs so to 
know you ! * Come,' she says, ' now tell me some- 
thing more about your darling, Miss Burney.' 
But I ought to hope you may never see her, for 
if you did I should be so jealous ! " 

You wish to hear more of Mrs. Sydney Lee, but 
Augusta so entirely occupied me, that I could talk 
to no one else. But it was an odd sort of meeting 
between the sister of the rebel general, and the wife 
of the king's admiral ! Mrs. Lee corresponds with 
her brother, and had a letter from him not long 
since, — almost torn, she says, to pieces, it had 
been so often opened and read in its voyage and 

Monday. — According to my appointment I 
breakfasted at the Bowdlers'. I was immediately 
introduced to my daddy's cousin, Miss Leigh. 
She is a tall, pretty, elegant girl, very sensible in 
her conversation, and very gentle and pleasing in 
her manners. I went prepared to like her for Mr. 
Crisp's sake, and I came away forced to like her 
for her own. 

She came up to me in a very flattering manner, 
to tell me how much she had wished to make the 
acquaintance, and so forth : and then I told her 
how happy I was to see a relation of Mr. Crisp. 

" What Mr. Crisp is it ? " cried Mrs. Bowdler ; 
" is it Sam ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," said I, staring at her familiarity. 

1 Juliana Elizabeth, whose first husband was the Hon. William Byron, 
d. 1776, eldest son of the fifth Lord Byron. 


" What ! " cried she, again, "do you know little 
Sam Crisp ? " 

" I don't know for little," returned I, much sur- 
prised ; " but he is the most intimate friend I have 
in the world, and the dearest. Do you know him 

"Do I ? — yes, very well ; I have known little 
Sam Crisp this long while." 

" I can't imagine," cried I, half affronted at her 
manner of naming him, " why you should so ' little ' 
him ; I know not any one thing in the world in 
which he is little, — neither in head, nor heart, — 
neither in understanding, person, talents, nor mind." 

"I fancy, ma'am," said Miss Leigh, "you hardly 
mean the Mr. Crisp Miss Burney does." 

" I mean Sam Crisp," said she, " the Greenwich 
Traveller." * 

This appeased me, — and we cleared up the mis- 
take. But Mrs. Bowdler, though a very clever 
woman, is not a very delicate one. For, after this, 
Miss F. Bowdler had a letter brought her, — and 
presently read aloud from it, " I long extremely 
to know Miss Burney, — I hope she will not leave 
Bath till I return." 

" Pray," said I, " may I ask who that is from ? " 

" From my sister Harriet," 2 answered she. 

"Yes," bolted out Mrs. Bowdler, "Harriet is 
one of the greatest admirers of Evelina'' 

These sort of abrupt speeches from people one 
hardly knows, are amazingly disagreeable : and 
Fanny Bowdler and Miss Leigh looked almost as 
awkward as myself. 

The rest of the visit was almost wholly devoted 
to the praise of Mr. Crisp and Mrs. Gast ; Miss 
Leigh adores Mrs. Gast, and so the brother and 

1 This was another "Sara Crisp," of whom there is an account in the 
Early Diary, 1889, i. xxv. et seq. 

2 Henrietta Maria Bowdler, 1754-1830, who wrote poems, essays, etc. 
She was the youngest Miss Bowdler. 



the sister were in good hands. She lives here with 
her mother, from whom she brought me many 
kind speeches, and whom I readily promised to 
wait upon. 

This evening, the only one since we came, we 
spent at home without company. 

Tuesday. — We all went to Mrs. Bowdler's. 

Mr. Bowdler, a very worthy, extremely little 
man (much less than Sam Crisp, I assure you, Mrs. 
Bowdler), appeared to-day ; but only appeared, for 
he was shy, and spoke not. I have neglected to 
mention that the eldest Miss Bowdler, 1 by a dread- 
ful cold, has quite lost her voice — lost all possible 
power of speech ! I never heard of so extra- 
ordinary or so horrible a circumstance ; she has 
been wholly dumb for three years. She seems per- 
fectly resigned, and very mild and patient ; but it 
is really painful to be in a room with her. 

Besides their own family, we met Mr. Jerning- 
ham, the poet. 2 I have lately been reading his 
poems [if his they may be called]. He seems a 
mighty delicate gentleman ; looks to be painted, 
and is all daintification in manner, speech, and 

The rest of the company I shall not trouble you 
with mentioning, save Miss Leigh, who sat next 
me, and filled up all the evening with hearing of 
Mr. Crisp, and talking of Mrs. Gast, except what 
was given to attending to Mr. Jerningham's singing 
to his own accompaniment upon the harp. He has 
about as much voice as Sacchini, 3 and very sweet- 
toned, though very English ; and he sung and 
played with a fineness that somewhat resembled 

1 Jane Bowdler, 1743-84. Her poems and essays, published post- 
humously, ran through sixteen editions between 1787 and 1830. 

2 Edward Jerningham, 1727-1812, at this date author of The Deserter, 
1770 (see Early Diary, 1889, ii. 333 n.) ; and other poems ; also of 
Margaret of Anjou, an'" historical interlude." 

3 See post, vol. ii., under July 16, 1781. 


the man we looked at at Piozzi's benefit ; for it 
required a painful attention to hear him. And 
while he sings, he looks the gentlest of all dying 
Corydons ! 

Oh, what must he have thought of Mrs. Bowdler, 
who, when he was trying to recollect an air from 
the Hermit, called out, 

" Pray, Mr. Jerningham, can't you sing us some 
of your own poetry ? " 

I really feared he would have fainted away at so 
gross a question ; but, to my great relief, I observed 
he only looked down and smiled. 

Wednesday. — At the desire of Miss F. Bowdler, 
we all went to the play, to see an actress she is 
dotinglyfond of, Mrs. Siddons, in " Belvidera " ; 1 but 
instead of falling in love with her, we fell in love 
with Mr. Lee, who played "Pierre " 2 — and so well ! 
I did not believe such an actor existed now our 
dear Garrick is gone ; a better, except Garrick, 
never did I see — nor any one nearly equal to him 
— for sense, animation, looks, voice, grace — Oh, 
for everything the part would admit — he is indeed 

Augusta Byron and Miss Gregory were of 
our party. They are both so much my friends, 
that they made me divide the evening between 

In the evening we had Mrs. L , a fat, 

round, panting, short-breathed old widow ; and her 
daughter, a fubsy, good-humoured, laughing, silly, 
merry old maid. They are rich folks, and live 
together very comfortably, and the daughter sings 
— not in your fine Italian taste ! no, that she and 
her mother agree to hold very cheap — but all about 

1 Belvidera is the heroine of Otway's Venice Preserved, 1682. It was 
one of Mrs. Siddons's earliest characters. 

2 Lee of Bath, d. 1781, aged fifty-six. He was "extremely admired" — 
says the Bath Chronicle of February 21, 1781 — "for the propriety, force, 
and justness of his delivery " (Penley's Bath Stage, 1892, p. 47). 


Daphne, and Chloe, and Damon, and Phillis, and 
Jockey ! 

Friday, — In the morning, to my great concern, 
Lord Mulgrave called to take leave. He takes 
away with him more wit than he leaves behind 
him in all Bath, except what is lodged with Mrs. 
Thrale. As to Mrs. Montagu, she reasons well, 
and harangues well, but wit she has none. Mrs. 
Thrale has almost too much ; for when she is in 
spirits, it bursts forth in a torrent almost over- 
whelming. Ah ! 'tis a fault she has as much to 
herself as her virtues ! 

Mrs. Cholmley was so kind as to call this morn- 
ing, and as I happened to be alone, we had a very 
comfortable chat together, and then Mrs. Thrale 
came in, and I had the pleasure of introducing 
them to each other. She is a woman of as much 
real delicacy as Mr. Jerningham (whom Lord 
Mulgrave calls a pink-and- white poet — for not only 
his cheeks, but his coat is pink) is a man of affected 

In the evening we went to visit Mrs. K . 

Mrs. K is a Welsh lady, of immense for- 
tune, who has a house in the Crescent, and lives in 
a most magnificent style. She is about fifty, very 
good-humoured, well-bred, and civil, and her waist 
does not measure above a hogshead. She is not 
very deep, I must own ; but what of that ? If 
all were wits, where would be the admirers at 

She received me very graciously, having par- 
ticularly desired Mrs. Thrale to bring me : for she 
is an invalid, and makes no visits herself. She 
told me she knew my uncle at Shrewsbury very 

"And pray, ma'am," says she, "how does Dr. 
Burney do ? " 

" Very well," I thanked her. 


" Do you know Dr. Burney, ma'am ? " said Mr. 

"No, sir, but I know his book. I think it's 
vastly pretty." 

"Why, yes, ma'am," said Mrs. Thrale, "Dr. 
Burney has found out the art of making all people 
like both him and his book." 

It is comical enough to see how she is always 
provoked at hearing these underlings praise him. 
She is ready to kill them for liking him, and has a 
whimsical notion that their applause degrades him. 

"Yes, ma'am," answered Mrs. K , "and 

there is somebody else too that has made all 
people like her book." 

" True, ma'am ; Dr. Burney's daughter inherits 
that art from him." 

" Oh, ma'am, I was so entertained ! Oh, dear ! 
and I was quite ill too, ma'am, quite ill when I 
read it. But for all that — why, why, ma'am, I was 
as eager, and I wanted sadly to see the author." 

Soon after this, arrived Mrs. Montagu and Miss 
Gregory. Miss Gregory brought a chair next to 
mine, and filled up the rest of my evening. I am 
really half sorry she appeared to such disadvantage 
that evening we saw her together at Mrs. Ord's, 
for I now begin to like her very much. She is 
frank, open, shrewd, and sensible, and speaks her 
opinion both of matters and things with a plump- 
ness of honesty and readiness that both pleases and 
diverts me. And though she now makes it a rule 
to be my neighbour wherever we meet, she has 
never made me even a hint of a compliment ; and 
that is not nothing as times go. 

Afterwards, who should be announced but the 
author of the Bath Guide, Mr. Anstey. 1 I was 

1 Christopher Anstey, 1724-1805. His New Bath Guide; or, Memoirs 
of the B-r-d Family, had been published in 1766. From 1770 to 1805 he 
lived at Bath (No. 5 Royal Crescent). He is buried in Walcot Church ; 
and has an honorary monument in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. 
VOL. I 2 A 


now all eye ; but not being able to be all ear, I 
heard but little that he said, and that little was 
scarce worth hearing. He had no opportunity of 
shining, and was as much like another man as you 
can imagine. It is very unfair to expect wonders 
from a man all at once ; yet it was impossible to 
help being disappointed, because his air, look, and 
manner are mighty heavy and unfavourable to him. 

But here see the pride of riches ! and see whom 

the simple Mrs. K can draw to her house ! 

However, her party was not thrown away upon 
her, — as I ought to say, because highly honoured 
by her exultingly whispering to Mrs. Thrale, 

"Now, ma'am, now, Mrs. Thrale, I'm quite 
happy ; for I'm surrounded with people of sense ! 
Here's Mrs. Montagu, and Mrs. Thrale, and Mr. 
Anstey, and Miss Burney. I'm quite surrounded, 
as I may say, by people of sense ! " 


Dr. Harrington — Chatterton — Bishop Porteus — A dull evening 
— A busy day — Mrs. Dobson — A MS. tragedy — A long 
story about nothing — An evening party — Pliny Melmoth — 
A comical day — A fine lady — A disappointed gentleman — A 
grand-daughter of Richardson — Bath diary resumed — Dr. 
Johnson — His fondness for Miss Burney — Sir Thomas 
Lawrence's family — Anstey — Bishop of Peterborough 
— A bishop's lady — The Duchess of Devonshire — Lady 
Spencer — Lord Mulgrave — Sea captains — Younger brothers 
— A mistake — Bath gossips — Anecdotes of Abyssinian Bruce 
— The Bowdler family — Table-talk — Admiral Byron — Mrs. 
Cholmley — An evening party — Anstey — Lady Miller — An 
agreeable rattle — A private concert — An accident — Lord 
Althorpe — A Bath beau — Lord Huntingdon — Lord Mul- 
grave — The Bishop of Peterborough — Mrs. Elizabeth Carter 
— Ferry's folly — A singular collation — An evening party — 
A public breakfast — A singular character — A female mis- 
anthrope — The results of Hume's Essays — Love and suicide 
— Beattie versus Bolingbroke — The Belvidere — Anecdote of 
Lord Mulgrave — A Bath ball — Love-making — Chit-chat — 
Blue-stockings — Flirtation — A good match — Mrs. Thrale — 
Match-making — The dangers of levity. 

Saturday. — In the morning my ever kind Mrs. T. 
accompanied me to the Belvidere, to call upon 
Mrs. and Miss Leigh, and to invite the latter to 
our house in the evening, to meet the Bowdlers. 
Mrs. Leigh herself cannot make any visits, because 
she has dreadfully sprained her ankle, and is obliged 
to wear a large shoe and flannel. She is a very 



sensible, agreeable woman, not so elegant as her 
daughter, but very civil, courteous, and good- 
natured. We talked away about Mr. Crisp and 
Mrs. Gast like mad. I know no subject upon 
which I am more fluent ; and so I suppose I 
seldom have, to a new acquaintance, appeared 
more loquacious. They were both too prudent to 
mention having seen my letters ; but Miss Bowdler 
has given me intelligence which I shall not make 
the less use of. 

Is it not a shocking thing, my dear Susette, 
that I am obliged to write to you upon this decent 
paper ? I never bring half enough riff-raff with 
me for the volumes I write to you, and yet it 
always goes to my heart to treat you so genteelly. 

Well, to go back to that Saturday that passed 
an age ago, where I left off in my last. 

Dr. Harrington and Miss Cooper dined here. 

Dr. Harrington, I find, is descended in a right 
line from the celebrated Sir John Harrington, who 
was godson of Queen Elizabeth, and one of the 
gayest writers and flashers of her reign ; and it is 
his son that is the Rev. Henry Harrington, who 
published those very curious, entertaining, and 
valuable remains of his ancestor under the title 
Nugce Antiquce, which my father and all of us 
were formerly so fond of. 

We had much talk among us of Chatterton, 
and, as he was best known in this part of the 
world, I attended particularly to the opinion of 
Dr. Harrington concerning him ; and the more 
particularly because he is uncommonly well-versed 
in the knowledge of English antiquities ; therefore 
was I much surprised to find it his opinion that 
Chatterton was no impostor, and that the poems 
were authentic, and Rowley's. Much, indeed, he 
said they had been modernised in his copies ; not 


by design, but from the difficulty which attended 
reading the old manuscript — a difficulty which the 
genius of Chatterton urged him not to confess but 
to redress. A book, however, is now publishing 
that is entirely to clear up this so-long-disputed 
and very mysterious affair, by Dr. Mills, 1 Dean of 

In the evening we had a great deal more com- 
pany, — consisting of the Dean of Ossory, Mrs. and 
Miss Lewis, but not Charlotte Lewis, who is 
not well, Mrs. and Miss Bowdler, my pretty new 
acquaintance, Miss Leigh, and Mr. Jerningham. 

Miss Leigh and I kept together very rigidly the 
whole evening, and talked a great deal of talk, 
and grew very intimate ; but one time, when acci- 
dentally I took up a book from the table, merely to 
peep at the title-page, Mr. Jerningham approached 
me, and said, in a gentle style of raillery, 

" Why do you take up a book, Miss Burney ? — 
you know you can't read." 

" Oh," answered I, in the same gentle style, " I 
only do it to make believe." 

And you can't think how prettily he laughed. 
He inquired, however, a great deal after my 
father, and wonders he does not come down 

Another time, he said to me, " Pray were not 
you the lady that used the glass the other night at 
the play?" 2 

Here I was quite shocked ; but could only 
defend, not deny ; protesting, with great truth, 
that I only used it for the performers, and could 
not see at all without it. 

"A lady in the box with me," continued he, 
" wanted sadly to know which was you ; so, indeed, 

1 Jeremiah Milles, D.D., 1714-84, President of the Society of Anti- 
quaries. His book on Chatterton was published in 1782. 

2 Miss Burney — it may be remembered — was very short-sighted. 


did all the company I was with, and I fancy I 
pointed right — did not I point right ? " 

Mrs. Bowdler, to keep up the character I have 
already given of her, once called out from the 
farthest end of the room, " Miss Burney, my 
daughter Harriet longs more and more to see you ; 
she writes us word she hopes to come home in 
time, or she shall be prodigiously disappointed." 

I had much discourse with the dean, all about 
the prospects, and the walks, and the country ; he 
is extremely civil and well-bred. 

Sunday. — This morning Miss Gregory came to 
accompany us to St. James's Church, to hear Dr. 
Porteus, Bishop of Chester, 1 preach a charity 
sermon for an excellent institution here, to enable 
the poor sick to drink the waters in an hospital. 
It was an admirable sermon, rational, judicious, 
forcible, and truth-breathing ; and delivered with 
a clearness, stillness, grace, and propriety that 
softened and bettered us all — as, I believe, appeared 
by the collection, for I fancy not a soul left the 
church without offering a mite. 

The evening we spent with old Mrs. C , 

and divers other old gentlewomen assembled at her 
house. Immensely dull work, indeed ! 

Monday. — This morning we appointed for hear- 
ing Miss Guest play ; and Miss L , that good 

and odd old maid I have already mentioned, con- 
ducted us to her house ; and was delighted beyond 
measure with a mixture of good-humour for us, 
and exultation for herself, that she had the credit 
of the introduction. 

Miss Guest is very young, but far from hand- 
some ; she is, however, obliging, humble, unassum- 
ing, and pleasing. At her house, by appointment, 
we met the Dean of Ossory and Dr. Woodward. 

She began with playing the third of Eichner, 

1 Beilby Porteus, 1731-1808, Bishop of Chester from 1776 to 1787. 


and I wish she had begun with something else, for 
I have so often heard our dear Etty in this, that 
I was quite spoiled for Miss Guest, or, I firmly 
believe, for anybody ; because in Eichner, as in 
Bach of Berlin, Echard and Boccherini, Etty plays 
as if inspired, and in taste, expression, delicacy, and 
feeling, leaves nothing to wish. Miss Guest has a 
very strong hand, and is indeed a very fine player 
— so fine a one as to make me think of Etty while 
she plays, though always, and in all particulars, to 
this poor girl's disadvantage. 

She next played the second of Clementi, which 
seemed to want nothing but a strong hand, and 
therefore I was full as well content with the player 
as with the music, but not enchanted with either. 

After this she sang, " Io che fedele," and here I 
thought I liked her better than in her playing. 
She has but little voice, but it is very sweet. 
Sacchini was her master, and, I fancy, must have 
taught her this very song, for she really sings it 
charmingly. Altogether I was so well pleased 
with her that I was quite sorry we could stay to 
hear nothing more. I am most greedily hungry 
for a little music, and have heard nothing at all 
approaching Miss Guest since I left town. She is 
to come hither to give lessons to Miss Thrale, and 
help keep up her singing, and so I shall probably 
often hear her. 

In our way home we met Miss Gregory, who 
flew up to me, and taking my hand, cried, 

" I have received in a letter I had this morning 
such an eloge of Evelina — such a description of 
you. 'Tis from Mrs. Chapone, 1 too, and I will 
show you next time we meet." 

There's for you ! who would not be a blue- 
stockinger at this rate ? 

1 Hester Chapone, nde Mulso, 1727-1801, the friend of Richardson, and 
author of the once famous Letters on the Improvement of the Mind, 1773. 



We parted with Miss L upon the Parade, 

and came in to dress, and while I was yet engaged 
in this important occupation, Mrs. Thrale came 

laughing into my room to tell me Miss L had 

just been with her again, and told her she had just 
been with Mrs. Dobson, " And, dear, ma'am, there 
I heard all about Miss Burney ! I was never so 
surprised. But I am going to the library im- 
mediately for the book ; though I assure you I 
read it all when it first came out ; but that was 
nothing like, not knowing anything of the matter ; 
but Mrs. Dobson has let me into the secret, so I 
wanted to know if it's all true ? " 

Mrs. Thrale readily confirmed it. 

" Well," cried she, " I shall run to the library, 
then, directly and fetch it ; but to be sure I 
thought from the beginning that something was 
the matter, though I could not tell what, because, 
ma'am, I felt such a panic, — I assure you when I 
sung before Miss Burney I was never in such a 
panic in my life ! " 

Mrs. Dobson, I daresay, is not a new name 
to you ; she has made an abridged translation 
of Petrarch's Life, and of the History of the 
Troubadours} She has long been trying to make 
acquaintance with Mrs. Thrale, but Mrs. Thrale 
not liking her advances, has always shrunk from 
them ; however, I find she has prevailed with Miss 

L to let her be one of her party when her visit 

is returned. 

This evening we all went to Mrs. Cholmley's, 
in consequence of an elegant invitation from that 
very elegant lady, to meet Mrs. Montagu, who 
was there with Miss Gregory, Miss Poyntz, and a 
Mrs. Wilson. 

1 Mrs. Susannah Dobson, d. 1795. Her translation (Johnson calls it 
an epitome) of the Abbe de Sade's Mimoires pour la Vie de Pttrarque had 
appeared in 1775 ; her Literary History of the Troubadours, a version of 
Curne de Sainte-Palaye, in 1779 (see post, p. 365). 


We had a very cheerful and pleasant evening. 

Tuesday, — This morning I went to the Belvidere 
to breakfast, by engagement, with Mrs. and Miss 

I like them more and more, and we talked about 
dear Chessington, and were quite comfortable, and 
I was so well pleased with my visit that I stayed 
with them almost all the morning. 

In the evening we went to Mrs. Lambart, who is 
another of my favourites. I was very ready to like 
her for the sake of her brother, Sir Philip Jennings 
Clerke ; and I find her so natural, so chatty, so 
prone to fun and ridicule, and so sociably agree- 
able, that I am highly pleased with her acquaint- 

This evening we had plenty of sport with her, 
of the ridiculous sort, which is quite her favourite 
style. She had nobody with her at first but a 
Miss Pleydell, a very unaffected and good- 
humoured girl, and therefore she produced for 
our entertainment a new tragedy, in manuscript, 
written by a Worcester clergyman, who is tutor 
to her son. [I will inquire his name some time, 
and perhaps Edward may know him.] This tragedy, 
it seems, Mr. Sheridan has read, and has promised 
to bring out next winter. It is called Timoleon} 
It is mighty common trash, and written in very 
clumsy language, and many of the expressions 
afforded us much diversion by their mock grandeur, 
though not one affected, interested, or surprised us. 
But, it seems, when we complained of its length and 
want of incident, Mrs. Lambart told us that the 
author was aware of that, and said he knew there 
was no incident, but that he could not help it, for 
there was none that he could find in the history ! 

1 By George Butt, D.D., 1741-95, at this date Rector of Stanford and 
Vicar of Clifton. It had been submitted to Garrick in 1777. It was 
apparently never printed or acted (Biographia Dramatica, 1812, iii. 338). 


Don't you admire the necessity he was under of 
making choice of a subject to which he knew such 
an objection ? 

I did not, however, hear above half the piece, 
though enough not to regret missing the rest, for 

Mr. E now made his appearance, and Mrs. 

Thrale read the rest to herself. 

As you seem to have rather a taste for these 
" Witlings," I will give you another touch of this 
young divine. He soon found out what we were 
about, and presently said, " If that play is writ by 
the person I suspect, I am sure I have a good 
right to know some of it ; for I was once in a 
house with him, and his study happened to be 
just over my head, and so there I used to hear 
him spouting by the hour together." 

He spoke this in a tone of complaint that made 
us all laugh, with which facetiousness, however, 
he was so far from being disturbed, that he only 
added, in a voice of fretful plaintiveness, 

" I'm sure I've cause enough to remember it, for 
he has kept me awake by the whole night together." 

We were now not content with simpering, for 
we could not forbear downright laughing : at which 
he still looked most stupidly unmoved. 

" Pray, Mrs. Lambart," said he, " what is its 
name ? " 

" Timoleon" answered she. 

" Pray," said he, " is it an invention of his own, 
or an historical fact ? " 

[When we were coming away, Mrs. Lambart, 
taking the play from off the table, and bringing it 
to me, asked me, in a comical manner, to read it 
through, and try to find something to praise, that 
she might let the author know I had seen and 
approved of it. I laughed, but declined the task, 

for jmany reasons, and then Mr. E approaching 

me said, 


"Ma'am, if you were to read it with a little 
pencil in your hand, just to mark your favourite 
passages, and so forth, I should think it might be 
a very good thing, and — and of use." Of use ? — 
ha, ha !] 

Wednesday was a sort of grand day. We all 

dined and spent the evening at Mrs. K 's. 

Our party was Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Poyntz, Miss 
Gregory, Miss Owen, Dr. Maningham, and Mr. 

The ladies you have heard of enough. Of the 
men, Dr. Maningham is very good-humoured, fat, 
and facetious. He asked me much after my dear 
father, whom he met with at Buxton, and after the 
Denoyers, with whom he seemed extremely in- 
timate, and so, indeed, he was well inclined to be 
with me, for he shook me by the wrist twenty times 
in the course of the day. Mr. Hunt is a young 
man of very large independent fortune, very ugly, 
very priggish, a violent talker, and a self-piquer 
upon immense good breeding. 

Miss Gregory and I kept together all the day, 
and did each of us very well. She told me that 
the Mrs. Wilson I met at Mrs. Cholmley's wanted 
to know me, and, if I should not think her " very 
impudent," would come up to speak to me the first 
time she saw me on the Parade. I condescended 
to send her a civil permission. 

Mrs. K took the first opportunity that pre- 
sented itself, to make me, in a low voice, abundance 
of civil speeches about Evelina. All the loud 
speeches were made by Mr. Hunt, who talked 
incessantly, and of nothing but dancing ! Poor 
Mrs. Montagu looked tired to death, and could not 
get in a word ; — it was really ridiculous to see how 
this coxcomb silenced her. 

When everybody was gone, but ourselves and 
Miss Gregory, we Misses growing somewhat 


facetious in a corner, Mrs. K good-humouredly 

called out, " I'm sure, ladies, I am very glad to see 
you so merry. Ah, — one of you young ladies, — I 
don't say which — has given me a deal of entertain- 
ment ! I'm sure I could never leave off reading ; 
and when Miss Owen came into my room, says I, 
don't speak a word to me, for I'm so engaged ! — 
I could not bear to be stopped — and then, Mrs. 
Thrale, I had such a prodigious desire to see her — 
for I said, says I, ' I'm sure she must have a good 
heart, — here's such fine sentiments,' says I. — Oh ! 
it's a sweet book ! " 

" Ay, ma'am," said Mrs. Thrale ; " and we that 
know her, like her yet better than her book." 

" Well, ma'am," answered she, " and I that know 
the book best, — to be sure I like that." 

" Then, ma'am, you show your taste ; and I my 

" And what must I show ? " cried I — " my back, 
I believe, and run away, if you go on so ! " 

Here, then, it stopped ; but when I was taking 
leave Mrs. K repeated her praises, and added, 

" I'm sure, ma'am, you must have a very happy 
way of thinking ; and then there's Mrs. Duval, — 
such a natural character ! " 

Thursday. — We were appointed to meet the 
Bishop of Chester l at Mrs. Montagu's. This proved 
a very gloomy kind of grandeur ; the Bishop waited 
for Mrs. Thrale to speak, Mrs. Thrale for the 
Bishop ; so neither of them spoke at all ! 

Mrs. Montagu cared not a fig, as long as she 
spoke herself, and so she harangued away. Mean- 
while Mr. Melmoth, the Pliny Melmoth, 2 as he is 
called, was of the party, and seemed to think nobody 

1 See ante, p. 358. 

2 William Melmoth the younger, 1710-99. His translation of Pliny's 
Letters had appeared as far back as 1746. Like Anstey, he resided in 
Bath, living there forty years at 12 Bladud Buildings. He was buried 
at Batheaston, and has a tablet in the Abbey Church. 


half so great as himself, and, therefore, chose to 
play first- violin without further ceremony. But, 
altogether, the evening was not what it was in- 
tended to be, and I fancy nobody was satisfied. It 
is always thus in long-projected meetings. 

The Bishop, however, seems to be a very elegant 
man : Mrs. Porteus, his lady, is a very sensible and 
well-bred woman : he had also a sister with him, 
who sat quite mum all the night, and looked 
prodigiously weary. 

Mr. Melmoth seems intolerably self-sufficient — 
appears to look upon himself as the first man in 
Bath, and has a proud conceit in look and manner, 
mighty forbidding. His lady is in nothing like the 
Bishop's ; I am sure I should pity her if she were. 

The good Miss Cooper was of the party, and a 
Mrs. Forster. I, as usual, had my friend Greg, at 
my elbow. If I had not now taken to her, I should 
absolutely run wild ! 

Friday was a busy and comical day. We had 
an engagement of long standing, to drink tea with 

Miss L , whither we all went, and a most queer 

evening did we spend. 

When we entered, she and all her company were 
looking out of the window ; however, she found us 
out in a few minutes, and made us welcome in a 
strain of delight and humbleness at receiving us, 
that put her into a flutter of spirits, from which 
she never recovered all the evening. 

Her fat, jolly mother took her seat at the top of 
the room ; next to her sat a lady in a riding habit, 
whom I soon found to be Mrs. Dobson ; below her 
sat a gentlewoman, prim, upright, neat, and mean ; 
and, next to her, sat another, thin, hagged, 1 wrinkled, 
fine, and tawdry, with a thousand frippery orna- 
ments and old-fashioned furbelows ; she was excel- 
lently nicknamed, by Mrs. Thrale, the Duchess of 

1 Haggard. 


Monmouth. On the opposite side was placed Mrs. 
Thrale, and, next to her, Queeny. For my own 
part, little liking the appearance of the set, and 
half- dreading Mrs. Dobson, from whose notice I 
wished to escape, I had made up myself to one of 
the now deserted windows, and Mr. Thrale had 

followed me. As to Miss L , she came to 

stand by me, and her panic, I fancy, returned, for 
she seemed quite panting with a desire to say 
something, and an incapacity to utter it. 

It proved happy for me that I had taken this 
place, for in a few minutes the mean, neat woman, 
whose name was Aubrey, asked if Miss Thrale was 
Miss Thrale ? 

"Yes, ma'am." 

" And pray, ma'am, who is that other young 
lady ? " 

" A daughter of Dr. Burney's, ma'am." 

" What ! " cried Mrs. Dobson, " is that the lady 
that has favoured us with that excellent novel ? " 

" Yes, ma'am." 

Then burst forth a whole volley from all at once. 
" Very extraordinary, indeed ! " said one — " Dear 
heart, who'd have thought it ? " said another — " I 
never saw the like in my life ! " said a third. And 
Mrs. Dobson, entering more into detail, began 
praising it through, but chiefly Evelina herself, 
which she said was the most natural character she 
had ever met in any book. 

Meantime, I had almost thrown myself out of 
the window, in my eagerness to get out of the way 
of this gross and noisy applause ; but poor Miss 
L , having stood quite silent a long time, sim- 
pering, and nodding her assent to what was said, 
at last broke forth with, 

" I assure you, ma'am, we've been all quite 
delighted : that is, we had read it before, but only 
now upon reading it again " 


I thanked her, and talked of something else, and 
she took the hint to have done ; but said, 

" Pray, ma'am, will you favour me with your 
opinion of Mrs. Dobson's works ? " 

A pretty question, in a room so small that even 
a whisper would be heard from one end to another ! 
However, I truly said I had not read them. 

Mr. and Mrs. Whalley now arrived, and I was 
obliged to go to a chair — when such staring fol- 
lowed ; they could not have opened their eyes 
wider when they first looked at the Guildhall 
giants ! I looked with all the gravity and demure- 
ness possible, in order to keep them from coming 
plump to the subject again, and, indeed, this, for 
a while, kept them off. 

Soon after, Dr. Harrington arrived, which closed 

our party. Miss L went whispering to him, 

and then came up to me, with a look of dismay, 
and said, 

" Oh, ma'am, I'm so prodigiously concerned ; 
Mr. Henry won't come ! " 

" Who, ma'am ? " 

"Mr. Henry, ma'am, the doctor's son. 1 But, 
to be sure, he does not know you are here, or else 
— but I'm quite concerned, indeed, for here now 
we shall have no young gentlemen ! " 

" Oh, all the better," cried I. " I hope we shall 
be able to do very well without." 

" Oh yes, ma'am, to be sure. I don't mean for 
any common young gentlemen ; but Mr. Henry, 
ma'am, it's quite another thing ; — however, I think 
he might have come ; but I did not happen to 
mention in my card that you were to be here, and 
so — but I think it serves him right for not coming 
to see me." 

1 See ante, p. 356. The Rev. Henry Harington, 1755-91, compiler, 
from the Harington papers, of the Nugce Antiques, a second edition of 
which had recently appeared. 



Soon after the mamma hobbled to me, and began 
a furious panegyric upon my book, saying, at the 
same time, 

" I wonder, Miss, how you could get at them 
low characters. As to the lords and ladies, that's 
no wonder at all ; but, as to t'others, why, I have 
not stirred, night nor morning, while I've been 
reading it : if I don't wonder how you could be so 
clever ! " 

And much, much more. And, scarcely had she 

unburthened herself, ere Miss L trotted back 

to me, crying, in a tone of mingled triumph and 

" Well, ma'am, Mr. Henry will be very much 
mortified when he knows who has been here ; that 
he will, indeed : however, I'm sure he deserves it ! " 

I made some common sort of reply, that I 
hoped he was better engaged, which she vehemently 
declared was impossible. 

We had now some music. [Miss L sung 

various old elegies of Jackson, Dr. Harrington, 
and Linley, and oh how I dismalled in hearing 
them ! Mr. Whalley, too, sung " Robin Gray/' 
and divers other melancholic ballads, and Miss 
Thrale sang " Ti seguire fedele."] 

But the first time there was a cessation of 
harmony, Miss L , again respectfully approach- 
ing me, cried, 

" Well, all my comfort is that Mr. Henry will 
be prodigiously mortified ! But there's a ball 
to-night, so I suppose he's gone to that. How- 
ever, I'm sure if he had known of meeting you 
young ladies here — but it's all good enough for 
him, for not coming ! " 

" Nay," cried I, "if meeting young ladies is a 
motive with him, he can have nothing to regret 
while at a ball, where he will see many more than 
he could here." 


" Oh, ma'am, as to that — but I say no more, 
because it mayn't be proper ; but, to be sure, if 
Mr. Henry had known — however, he'll be well 
mortified ! " 

Soon after this, a chair next mine being vacated, 
Mrs. Dobson came and seated herself in it, to my 
somewhat dismay, as I knew what would follow. 
Plump she came upon her subject, saying, 

" Miss Burney, I am come to thank you for the 
vast entertainment you have given me. I am quite 
happy to see you ; I wished to see you very much. 
It's a charming book, indeed ; the characters are 
vastly well supported ! " 

In short, she ran on for half-an-hour, I believe, 
in nothing but plain, unadorned, downright praise ; 
while I could only bow, and say she was very good, 
and long to walk out of the room. 

When she had run herself out of breath, and 
exhausted her store of compliments, she began 
telling me of her own affairs ; talked, without any 
introduction or leading speeches, of her translations, 
and took occasion to acquaint me she had made 
£400 of her Petrarca. She then added some other 
anecdotes, which I have not time to mention, and 
then said, 

"Miss Burney, I shall be very happy to wait 
upon you and Mrs. Thrale. I have longed to know 
Mrs. Thrale these many years : pray, do you think 
I may wait upon you both on Sunday morning ? " 

"To be sure, we shall be very happy." 

" Well, then, if you don't think it will be an 
intrusion — but will you be so good as to mention 
it to Mrs. Thrale?" 

I was obliged to say " Yes," and soon after she 
quitted me to go and give another dose of flummery 
to Mrs. Thrale. 

I was not two minutes relieved, ere Miss L 

returned, to again assure me how glad she was that 

vol. i 2 b 


Mr. Henry would be mortified. The poor lady was 
quite heartbroken that we did not meet. 

The next vacation of my neighbouring chair was 

filled by Mrs. L , who brought me some flowers ; 

and when I thanked her, said, 

" Oh, miss, you deserve everything ! You've writ 
the best and prettiest book. That lord there — I 
forget his name, that marries her at last — what a 
fine gentleman he is ! You deserve everything for 
drawing such a character ; and then Miss Elena, 
there, Miss Belmont, as she is at last — what a 
noble couple of 'em you have put together ! As to 
that t'other lord, I was glad he had not her, for I 
see he had nothing but a bad design." 

Well, have you enough of this ridiculous 
evening ? Mrs. Thrale and I have mutually agreed 
that we neither of us ever before had so complete a 
dish of gross flattery as this night. Yet let me be 
fair, and tell you that this Mrs. Dobson, though 
coarse, low - bred, forward, self - sufficient, and 
flaunting, seems to have a strong and masculine 
understanding, and parts that, had they been united 
with modesty, or fostered by education, might 
have made her a shining and agreeable woman ; 
but she has evidently kept low company, which she 
has risen above in literature, but not in manners. 
She obtained Mrs. Thrale's leave to come on 
Sunday, and to bring with her a grand-daughter of 
Mr. Richardson's, who, she said, was dying to see 
Mrs. T. and Miss B., and who Mr. Whalley said 
had all the elegance and beauty which her grand- 
father had described in Clarissa or Clementina. 

Sunday. — Mrs. Dobson called, and brought with 
her Miss Ditcher 1 — a most unfortunate name for a 
descendant of Richardson ! However, Mr. Whalley 
had not much exaggerated, for she is, indeed, quite 

1 Daughter of Mary, or "Polly" Richardson, eldest daughter of the 
novelist, and Mr. Philip Ditcher, a Bath surgeon. 


beautiful, both in face and figure. All her features 
are very fine ; she is tall, looks extremely modest, 
and has just sufficient consciousness of her attrac- 
tions to keep off bashfulness, without enough to 
raise conceit. I think I could take to her very 
much, but shall not be likely to see her again. 

Bath, May 28. — I was very happy, my dearest 
girls, with the account of your safe return from the 
borough. I never mentioned your having both 
accompanied me till I had got half way to Bath ; 
for I found my dear Mrs. Thrale so involved in 
business, electioneering, canvassing, and letter- 
writing, that after our first embrassades, we hardly 
exchanged a word till we got into the chaise next 

Dr. Johnson, however, who was with her, re- 
ceived me even joyfully ; and, making me sit by 
him, began a gay and spirited conversation, which 
he kept up till we parted, though in the midst of 
all this bustle. 

The next morning we rose at four o'clock, and 
when we came downstairs, to our great surprise, 
found Dr. Johnson waiting to receive and break- 
fast with us ; though the night before he had 
taken leave of us, and given me the most cordial 
and warm assurances of the love he has for me, 
which I do indeed believe to be as sincere as I can 
wish ; and I failed not to tell him the affectionate 
respect with which I return it ; though, as well as 
I remember, we never came to this open declaration 

We, therefore, drank our coffee with him, and 
then he handed us both into the chaise. He meant 
to have followed us to Bath, but Mrs. Thrale dis- 
couraged him, from a firm persuasion that he would 
be soon very horribly wearied of a Bath life : an 
opinion in which I heartily join. 



When at last I told Mrs. T. of your adventure 
of accompanying me to the borough, she scolded 
me for not bringing you both in ; but, as I told 
her, I am sure you would have been very uncom- 
fortable in a visit so ill-timed. However, she said 
she hoped she should see you both there when 
again settled for winter, and make amends for so 
inhospitable a beginning. 

Adventures in our journey we had no time to 
think of; we flew along as swift as possible, but 
stopped to change horses at Devizes in preference 
to Chippenham, merely to inquire after the fair and 
very ingenious family of the Lawrences ; but we 
only saw the mother and elder son. 1 

We found our dear master charmingly well, and 
very glad indeed to see us. Miss Cooper, who was 
with them, and who is made up of quick sensations, 
manifested the most pleasure of all the party. We 
have agreed to visit comfortably in town. She is 
by no means either bright or entertaining, but she 
is so infinitely good, so charitable to the poor, so 
kind to the sick, so zealous for the distressed, and 
in every part of her conduct so blameless where 
quiet, and so praiseworthy where active, that I am 
really proud of the kindness she seems to have 
taken for me, and shall cultivate it with the truest 

The next morning we had visitors pouring in 
to see us after our journey ; but the two whose 
eagerness was infinitely most sincere, were the 
Bishop of Peterborough, 2 who adores, and is adored 
in return by Mrs. Thrale, and the fair Augusta 
Byron, my romantically -partial young friend. 

In the evening we all went to the Dean of 
Ossory's. I felt horribly fagged ; but Mrs. Thrale 

1 See ante, p. 325. The future Sir Thomas was the youngest child. 

2 John Hinchcliffe, 1731-94, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and 
Bishop of Peterborough from 1769 to his death. He had been head 
master of Westminster School. 


was so gay and so well, in spite of all her fatigues, 
that I had not courage to complain and desire to 
be excused joining the party. 

There was a great deal of company : among 
them Mrs. and Miss F. Bowdler, who again spoke 
very kindly of my mother; but of that I shall 
write to herself; and Mrs. Lambart, and Mr. 
Anstey, and the Bishop of Peterborough ; besides 
others not worth naming. 

The bishop, in conversation, is indeed a most 
shining and superior man, — gay, high - spirited, 
manly, quick, and penetrating. I was seated, 

however, between the two Miss L 's, and heard 

but little conversation besides their's and my own, 
— and which of the three afforded me most delight 
I have now no time to investigate. 

Mr. Anstey opens rather more, and approaches 
nearer to being rather agreeable. If he could 
but forget he had written the Bath Guide, with 
how much more pleasure would everybody else 
remember it. 

Sunday. — We went to the abbey, to hear the 
bishop preach. He gave us a very excellent 
sermon, upon the right use of seeking knowledge, 
namely, to know better the Creator by his works, 
and to learn our own duty in studying his power. 

Mrs. Montagu we miss cruelly, and Miss 
Gregory I think of everywhere I go, as she used 
to be my constant elbow companion, and most 
smiling greeter. Mrs. Montagu has honoured me, 
in a letter to Mrs. T., with this line : " Give my 
love to the truly lovely Miss Burney ! " I fancy 
she meant lovable ; but be that as it may, I am 
sure she meant no harm, and therefore I shall take 
her blindness in good part. 

Monday. — We went to Mrs. Lambart. Here 
we met Lady Dorothy Inglish, a Scotchwoman ; 
Sir Robert Pigot, an old Englishman ; Mrs. North, 


the Bishop of Worcester's handsome wife, and 
many nameless others. 

Mrs. North, who is so famed for tonishness, 
exhibited herself in a more perfect undress than I 
ever before saw any lady, great or small, appear in 
upon a visit. Anything alike worse as better than 
other folks, that does but obtain notice and excite 
remark, is sufficient to make happy ladies and 
gentlemen of the ton. I always long to treat them 
as daddy Crisp does bad players (when his own 
partners) at whist, and call to them, with a nod of 
contemptuous anger, " Bless you ! bless you ! " 

I had no talk but with Mrs. Lambart herself, 
who now, Mrs. Byron excepted, is far the most 
agreeable woman in Bath — I mean among the 
women mistresses — for among the women misses 
of the very first class, I reckon Miss F. Bowdler. 

Tuesday. — The bishop and Mrs. Lambart dined 
with us, and stayed the afternoon, which was far 
more agreeable, lively, and sociable than when we 
have more people. I believe I told you that, 
before I last left Bath the bishop read to Mrs. T. 
and me a poem upon Hope, of the Duchess of 
Devonshire's, obtained with great difficulty from 
Lady Spencer. 1 Well, this day he brought a tale 
called Anxiety, which he had almost torn from 
Lady Spencer, who is still here, to show to Mrs. 
Thrale ; and, as before, he extended his confidence 
to me. It is a very pretty tale, and has in it as 
much entertainment as any tale upon so hackneyed 
a subject as an assembly of all the gods and god- 
desses to bestow their gifts upon mankind, can be 
expected to give. 

1 Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, 1757-1806, is not included in 
Walpole and Park's Royal and Noble Authors. The former speaks, how- 
ever (Corr. vi. 217), of the Ode to Hope with faint praise. Mason answered 
it. A poem on the Passage of the Mountain of St. Gothard was published 
by the Duchess in 1802, and was translated into French, German, and 
Italian. She was also credited with the Sylph (p. 418). 


Lord Mulgrave called this morning. He is 
returned to Bath for only a few days. He was 
not in his usual spirits ; yet he failed not to give 
me a rub for my old offence, which he seems deter- 
mined not to forget ; for upon something being 
said, to which, however, I had not attended, about 
seamen, he cast an arch glance at me, and cried 

" Oh, Miss Burney, I know, will take our parts 
— if I remember right, she is one of the greatest of 
our enemies ! " 

"All the sea captains," said Mrs. Thrale, "fall 
upon Miss Burney : Captain Cotton, my cousin, 1 
was for ever plaguing her about her spite to the 

This, however, was for the character of Captain 
Mirvan, which, in a comical and good-humoured 
way, Captain Cotton pretended highly to resent, 
and so, he told me, did all the captains in the 
navy. 2 

Augusta Byron, too, tells me that the Admiral, 
her father, very often talks of Captain Mirvan, 
and though the book is very high in his favour, is 
not half pleased with the Captain's being such a 

However, I have this to comfort me, — that the 
more I see of sea captains, the less reason I have 
to be ashamed of Captain Mirvan ; for they have 
all so irresistible a propensity to wanton mischief, 
to roasting beaus, and detesting old women, that I 
quite rejoice I showed the book to no one ere 
printed, lest I should have been prevailed upon to 
soften his character. 

Some time after, while Lord Mulgrave was 
talking of Captain G. Byron's marrying a girl at 

1 Mrs. Thrale 's mother's maiden name was Cotton. 

2 This, as we have seen, was also the opinion of the Monthly Review 
(see ante, p. 28). 


Barbadoes, 1 whom he had not known a week, he 
turned suddenly to me, and called out, 

" See, Miss Burney, what you have to expect ; 
— your brother will bring a bride from Kamschatka, 
without doubt ! " 

"That," said I, "may perhaps be as well as a 
Hottentot, for when he was last out, he threatened 
us with a sister from the Cape of Good Hope." 

In the evening we went to see the Merchant 
of Venice, and Augusta was of our party. My 
favourite Mr. Lee played Shylock, and played it 
incomparably. With the rest of the performers I 
was not too much charmed. 

Thursday. — Lord Mulgrave and Dr. Harrington 
dined here. Lord Mulgrave was delightful ; — his 
wit is of so gay, so forcible, so splendid a kind that 
when he is disposed to exert it, he not only en- 
grosses attention from all the rest of the company, 
but demands the full use of all one's faculties to 
keep pace in understanding the speeches, allusions, 
and sarcasms which he sports. But he will never, 
I believe, be tired of attacking me about the sea ; 
"he will make me ' eat that leek,' I assure you ! " 

During dinner, he was speaking very highly of 
a sea officer whose name, I think, was Reynolds. 

" And who is he ? " asked Mrs. Thrale ; to which 
his Lordship answered, " Brother to Lord — some- 
thing, but I forget what " ; and then, laughing and 
looking at me, he added, " We have all the great 
families in the navy, — ay, and all the best families, 
too, — have we not, Miss Burney ? The sea is so 
favourable an element to genius, that there all 
high-souled younger brothers with empty pockets 
are sure of thriving : nay, I can say even more for 
it, for it not only fosters the talents of the spirited 
younger brothers, it also lightens the dulness even 
of that poor animal, — an elder brother ; so that it 

1 See ante, p. 347. 


is always the most desirable place both for best and 

" Well, your Lordship is always ready to praise 
it," said Mrs. Thrale ; " and I only wish we had a 
few more like you in the service, — and long may 
you live, both to defend and to ornament it ! " 

" Defence," answered he with quickness, " it 
does not want, — and, for ornament, it is above all ! " 

In the evening we had more company, — the 
Bishop of Peterborough, Mr. Anstey, Dean of 
Ossory, Mrs. and Charlotte Lewis, F. Bowdler, 
and Miss Philips, — a lady with whom the beginning 
of my acquaintance was by a very strange mistake. 

I forget if I ever mentioned to you that Miss 
Gregory long since told me that a Mrs. Wilson, 
whom I had seen at Mrs. Cholmley's, wished to 
know me, and sent me word she should accost me 
some day when I was walking on the Parade, if I 
should not think her very impudent for her pains. 
Well, divers messages, in consequence of this, 
passed between us ; and, some time after, as I was 
sauntering upon the Parade with Mr. Thrale, a 
lady came out of the house in which I knew Mrs. 
Wilson resided, and with a smiling face, and a 
curtsey, made up to us. I took it for granted this 
was my destined acquaintance, whose face, as I was 
never near to her, I was too near-sighted to mark. 
I readily returned her civility, and myself began a 
conversation with her, of the weather, walks, and 
so forth, but we were both of us abominably em- 
barrassed, and parted rather abruptly ; and while 
Mr. Thrale and I were laughing at the encounter, 
we saw this lady join Mrs. Thrale, and presently 
we all met again. " And so," cried Mrs. Thrale to 
her husband, " you did not know Miss Philips ? she 
says she made up to you, and you never spoke to 
her ! " I now found my mistake, and that she 
neither was Mrs. Wilson, nor had intended 


addressing me. I was, therefore, quite ashamed of 
my own part in the affair, and obliged to clear it 
up with all speed. 

Miss Philips, however, who is a Welsh lady, and 
sister to Lady Milford, has been pleased to make 
me her acquaintance ever since. Two days after, 
she called, and finding me at home, and alone, sat 
with me a full hour, and talked away very sociably 
and unreservedly. She presses me to visit and take 
morning walks with her ; but the truth is, though 
she is sensible and sprightly, she is not much to my 
taste, and, therefore, I have evaded availing myself 
of her civility as much as has been in my power. 

Charlotte Lewis, who is a mighty gay, giddy, 
pretty girl, and says whatever comes uppermost, 
told me she had heard a very bad account of me 
the night before at an assembly. 

"A gentleman told me," she continued, "that 
you and Mrs. Thrale did nothing but criticise the 
play and the players at the Merchant of Venice 
the whole night." 

For the play, I believe it might defy us ; but 
for the players, I confess the case, and am by no 
means happy in having been so remarked, for 
Charlotte Lewis declared she had heard the same 
account since from another gentleman, and from 
three ladies, though there was not a face in the 
boxes I ever recollected having seen before ; but 
Bath is as tittle-tattle a town as Lynn ; and people 
make as many reports, and spread as many idle 
nothings abroad, as in any common little town in 
the kingdom. 

Fiiday. — In the morning, I waited upon Miss 
Cooper, to return her a letter which she had sent 
me to peruse, from Mr. Bruce l to Mr. H. Seaton. 

1 James Bruce of Kinnaird, 1730-94, the Abyssinian traveller. His 
Travels came out in 1790. He was a frequent visitor to No. 1 St. Martin's 


It was in his own handwriting, and contained a 
curious account of his making a friendship with 
an Arab, through the means of being known to a 
Mr. Hamilton, by whom this Arab had been kindly 
treated when a prisoner in Italy : and, through the 
friendship of this man, he enabled himself to pass 
on quietly to various places forbidden to strangers, 
and to make several of his best drawings, of ruins 
shown him by this Arab. 

Saturday. — According to appointment, I went 
to breakfast at the Bowdlers'. I found all the 
Bowdlers, and Miss Leigh. 

Harriet Bowdler is much younger than any of 
her sisters, but less handsome ; she is sprightly, 
good-humoured, and agreeable. I was introduced 
to her very quietly by her sister, but soon after, 
Mrs. Bowdler finding some fault with the manner 
in which she had pinned her ribbons, applied to 
me about them. I sided, however, with Harriet, 
whose method I preferred. 

" Ah ! " cried Mrs. Bowdler, " there spoke the 
Evelina — you like that way best because it is 
whimsical ! Well, I like a little whim, too ; but 
Harriet — oh, she is such an admirer of Evelina ! " 

Harriet modestly hung her head ; Fanny, sens- 
ibly, frowned ; and so, to my great ease, the matter 
went no further. But Mrs. Bowdler has long been 
dying to come to the point. 

The very amiable Miss Leigh, with whom 
indeed I am greatly pleased, told me she had a 
favour to request of me, which I gladly promised 
to perform d'avance. 

"I have a relation here," said she, "Captain 
Frodsham, who was made captain by Admiral 
Byron, to whom he is under very great obligations. 
Now he has heard that Mrs. Byron is quite 
incensed with him for not having waited upon 
her ; but as he did not know her, he stayed away 


merely from fearing she would think a visit from 
him impertinent. Now if you will be so good as 
to pave the way for his reception, and make his 
apologies, he will be greatly obliged to you, and so 
shall I." 

This I most readily undertook : and having 
stayed prating with them all till twelve o'clock, I 
broke away, after a very agreeable breakfast, and 
went to Mrs. Cholmley. 

I found her at home and quite alone, and I 
stayed with her the rest of the morning. I have 
never yet been near so well pleased with her. She 
is much better in a tete-a-tete than in a mixed 
company. Her gentleness, good sense, and the 
delicacy of her mind, all show to advantage in 
close and intimate conversation ; but in a room 
full of company, they are buried in the tumult of 
general talk and mere flashy brilliancy. I found 
her now " soft without insipidity," as my dear father 
said she was, and every way worthy her own most 
sweet padre. Not, however, quite, neither, for I 
am still far from believing her talents equal to his. 
But she is a sweet woman, and I was very happy 
in being earnestly pressed by her to visit her in 

In the afternoon we all went to the Whalleys', 
where we found a large and a highly -dressed 
company : at the head of which sat Lady Miller. 1 
Among the rest were Mr. Anstey, his lady, and 
two daughters, Miss Weston, Mrs. Aubrey, the 
thin quaker-like woman I saw first at Mrs. Lawes', 
Mrs. Lambart, and various others, male and female, 
that I knew not. 

Miss Weston instantly made up to me, to 
express her " delight " at my return to Bath, and 

1 Anna, Lady Miller, nte Riggs, 1741-81, of the Batheaston vase (see 
post, p. 415). Her husband, John Miller of Ballicasey, had been created 
a baronet in 1778. 


to beg she might sit by me. Mrs. Whalley, how- 
ever, placed me upon a sofa between herself and 
Mrs. Aubrey ; which, however, I did not repine 
at, for the extreme delicacy of Miss Weston makes 
it prodigiously fatiguing to converse with her, as 
it is no little difficulty to keep pace with her refine- 
ment, in order to avoid shocking her by too obvious 
an inferiority in daintihood and ton, 

Mr. Whalley, to my great astonishment, so far 
broke through his delicacy as to call to me across 
the room, to ask me divers questions concerning 
my London journey ; during all which, Mr. 
Anstey, who sat next to him, earnestly fixed his 
eyes in my face, and both then and for the rest of 
the evening, examined me with a look of most 
keen penetration. 

As soon as my discourse was over with Mr. 
Whalley (during which, as he called me by my 
name, everybody turned towards me, which was 
not very agreeable), Lady Miller arose, and went 
to Mrs. Thrale, and whispered something to her. 
Mrs. Thrale then rose, too, and said, 

" If your ladyship will give me leave, I will 
first introduce my daughter to you " — making 
Miss Thrale, who was next her mother, make 
her reverences. 

"And now," she continued, "Miss Burney, 
Lady Miller desires to be introduced to you." 

Up I jumped and walked forward ; Lady Miller, 
very civilly more than met me half-way, and said 
very polite things, of her wish to know me, and 
regret that she had not sooner met me, and then 
we both returned to our seats. 

Do you know now that, notwithstanding Bath 
Easton is so much laughed at in London, nothing 
here is more tonish than to visit Lady Miller, who 
is extremely curious 1 in her company, admitting 

1 i.e. select, particular. 


few people who are not of rank or of fame, and ex- 
cluding of those all who are not people of character 
very unblemished. 

Some time after, Lady Miller took a seat next 
mine on the sofa, to play at cards, and was ex- 
cessively civil indeed — scolded Mrs. Thrale for not 
sooner making us acquainted, and had the polite- 
ness to offer to take me to the balls herself, as she 
heard Mr. and Mrs. Thrale did not choose to go. 

After all this, it is hardly fair to tell you 
what I think of her. However, the truth is, 
I always, to the best of my intentions, speak 
honestly what I think of the folks I see, without 
being biassed either by their civilities or neglect ; 
and that you will allow is being a very faithful 

Well, then, Lady Miller is a round, plump, 
coarse-looking dame of about forty, and while all 
her aim is to appear an elegant woman of fashion, 
all her success is to seem an ordinary woman in 
very common life, with fine clothes on. Her 
manners are bustling, her air is mock-important, 
and her manners very inelegant. 

So much for the lady of Bath Easton ; who, 
however, seems extremely good-natured, and who 
is I am sure extremely civil. 

The card -party was soon after broken up, as 
Lady Miller was engaged to Lady Dorothy 
Inglish, and then I moved to seat myself by 
Mrs. Lambart. 

I was presently followed by Miss Weston, and 
she was pursued by Mr. Bouchier, a man of 
fortune who is in the army or the militia, and who 
was tormenting Miss Weston, en badinage, about 
some expedition upon the river Avon, to which he 
had been witness. He seemed a mighty rattling, 
harem-scarem gentleman, but talked so fluently 
that I had no trouble in contributing my mite 


towards keeping up the conversation, as he talked 
enough for four ; and this I was prodigiously 
pleased at, as I was in an indolent mood, and not 
disposed to bear my share. I fancy, when he 
pleases, and thinks it worth while, he can be 
sensible and agreeable, but all his desire then, was 
to alarm Miss Weston, and persuade the company 
she had been guilty of a thousand misdemeanours. 

In the midst of this rattle, Mr. Whalley 
proposed that Miss Thrale should go downstairs 
to hear a Miss Sage play upon the harpsichord. 
Miss Sage is a niece of Mrs. Whalley, and about 
nine years old. I offered to be of the party. 
Miss Weston joined us, as did the Miss Ansteys, 
and down we went. 

And terribly wearied was I ! she played a 
lesson of Giordani's that seemed to have no end, 
and repeated all the parts into the bargain ; and 
this, with various little English songs, detained us 
till we were summoned to the carriage. I had an 
opportunity, however, of seeing something of the 
Miss Ansteys. 

Mr. Anstey, I cannot doubt, must sometimes 
be very agreeable ; he could not else have written 
so excellent, so diverting, so original a satire. 1 
But he chooses to keep his talents to himself, or 
only to exert them upon very particular occasions. 
Yet what he can call particular I know not, for 
1 have seen him with Mrs. Montagu, with Mrs. 
Thrale, with the Bishop of Peterborough, and 
with Lord Mulgrave ; and four more celebrated 
folks for their abilities can hardly be found. Yet, 
before them all he has been the same as when 
I have seen him without any of them — shyly 
important, and silently proud ! 

1 Miss Burney makes Lord Orville and Evelina read this book 
together at Mrs. Beaumont's. It could scarcely be chosen as a manual 
for a hero and heroine now. 


Well, and there are men who are to be and to 
make happy, and there are men who are neither 
to make nor be made so ! 

Ah, how different and how superior our sweet 
father ! who never thinks of his authorship and 
fame at all, but who is respected for both by 
everybody for claiming no respect from anybody ; 
and so, Heaven be praised, Dr. Burney and not 
Mr. Anstey gave birth to my Susan and to her 
F. B. 

Bath, June 4. — To go on with Saturday 

We left the Whalleys at nine, and then pro- 
ceeded to Sir J. C , who had invited us to a 

concert at his house. 

We found such a crowd of chairs and carriages 
we could hardly make our way. I had never seen 
any of the family, consisting of Sir J. and three 
daughters, but had been particularly invited. The 
two rooms for the company were quite full when 
we arrived, and a large party was standing upon 
the first -floor landing-place. Just as I got up- 
stairs, I was much surprised to hear my name 
called by a man's voice who stood in the crowd 
upon the landing-place, and who said, 

"Miss Burney, better go up another flight 
(pointing upstairs) — if you'll take my advice, you'll 
go up another flight, for there's no room anywhere 

I then recollected the voice, for I could not see 
the face, of Lord Mulgrave, and I began at first 
to suppose I must really do as he said, for there 
seemed not room for a sparrow, and I have heard 
the Sharp family do actually send their company 
all over their house when they give concerts. 
However, by degrees we squeezed ourselves into 
the outer room, and then Mrs. Lambart made 


way up to me, to introduce me to Miss C- 

who is extremely handsome, genteel, and pleasing, 
though tonish, and who did the honours, in spite 
of the crowd, in a manner to satisfy everybody. 
After that, she herself introduced me to her next 
sister, Arabella, who is very fat, but not ugly. As 
to Sir J., he was seated behind a door in the 
music-room, where, being lame, he was obliged to 
keep still, and I never once saw his face, though 
I was upon the point of falling over him ; for, at 
one time, as I had squeezed just into the music- 
room, and was leaning against the door, which 
was open, and which Lord Althorpe, the Duchess 
of Devonshire's brother, was also lolling against, 
the pressure pushed Sir James's chair, and the 
door beginning to move, I thought we should 
have fallen backwards. Lord Althorpe moved off 
instantly, and I started forwards without making 
any disturbance, and then Mr. Travell came to 
assure me all was safe behind the door, and so 
the matter rested quietly, though not without 
giving me a ridiculous fright. 

Mr. Travell, ma'am, if I have not yet introduced 
him to you, I must tell you is known throughout 
Bath by the name of Beau Travell ; he is a most 
approved connoisseur in beauty, gives the ton to 
all the world, sets up young ladies in the beau 
monde, and is the sovereign arbitrator of fashions, 
and decider of fashionable people. I had never the 
honour of being addressed by him before, though 
I have met him at the dean's and at Mrs. Lambart's. 
So you may believe I was properly struck. 

Though the rooms were so crowded, I saw but 
two faces I knew — Lord Huntingdon, whom I 
have drunk tea with at Mrs. Cholmley's, and Miss 
Philips ; but the rest were all showy tonish people, 
who are only to be seen by going to the rooms, 
which we never do. 

vol. i 2 c 


Some time after Lord Mulgrave crowded in 
among us, and cried out to me, 

" So you would not take my advice ! " 

I told him he had really alarmed me, for I had 
taken him seriously. 

He laughed at the notion of sending me up to 
the garrets, and then poked himself into the 

Oh, but I forgot to mention Dr. Harrington, 
with whom I had much conversation, and who 
was dry, comical, and very agreeable. I also saw 

Mr. Henry, but as Miss L was not present, 

nothing ensued. 1 

Miss C herself brought me a cup of ice, 

the room being so crowded that the man could 
not get near me. How ridiculous to invite so 
many more people than could be accommodated ! 

Lord Mulgrave was soon sick of the heat, and 
finding me distressed what to do with my cup, he 
very good-naturedly took it from me, but carried 
not only that, but himself also, away, which I did 
not equally rejoice at. 

You may laugh, perhaps, that I have all this 
time said never a word of the music, but the truth 
is I heard scarce a note. There were quartettos 
and overtures by gentlemen performers whose 
names and faces I know not, and such was the 
never-ceasing tattling and noise in the card-room, 
where I was kept almost all the evening, that a 
general humming of musical sounds, and now and 
then a twang, was all I could hear. 

Nothing can well be more ridiculous than a 
concert of this sort ; and Dr. Harrington told me 
that the confusion amongst the musicians was 
equal to that amongst the company ; for that, 
when called upon to open the concert, they found 
no music. The Miss C 's had prepared nothing, 

1 See ante, p. 367. 


nor yet solicited their dilettanti to prepare for 
them. Miss Harrington, his daughter, who 
played upon the harpsichord, and by the very 
little I could sometimes hear, I believe very well, 
complained that she had never touched so vile 
an instrument, and that she was quite disturbed 
at being obliged to play upon it. 

About the time that I got against the door, 
as I have mentioned, of the music -room, the 
young ladies were preparing to perform, and with 
the assistance of Mr. Henry, they sang catches. 
Oh, such singing ! worse squalling, more out of 
tune, and more execrable in every respect, never 
did I hear. We did not get away till late. 

Sunday. — We had an excellent sermon from 
the Bishop of Peterborough, who preached merely 
at the request of Mrs. Thrale. From the abbey 
we went to the pump-room, where we met Mrs. 
and Miss Byron, and I gave Captain Frodsham's 
message, or rather apologies, to Mrs. Byron, who 
in her warm and rapid way told me she thought it 
extremely ill-bred that he had not waited upon 
her, but consented to receive him if he thought 
proper to come, and I undertook to let him know 
the same through Miss Leigh. 

At the pump-room we also saw the beautiful 
Miss Ditcher, Richardson's grand -daughter, 1 Mr. 
Whalley, etc. But what gave me most pleasure 
was meeting with Miss Cooper, and hearing from 
her that Mrs. Carter was come to Bath, though 
only for that very day, in her way somewhere 
farther. I have long languished to see Mrs. 
Carter, and I entreated Miss Cooper to present 
me to her, which she most readily undertook to 
do, and said we should meet her upon the parade. ^ 
Miss F. Bowdler joined us, and we all walked 
away in search of her, but to no purpose; Mrs. 

1 See ante, p. 370. 


Thrale, therefore, accompanied Miss Cooper to 
York House, where she was to repose that night, 
purposely to invite her to spend the evening with 

[She could not, however, make her promise, but 
brought us some hopes.] 

At dinner we had the Bishop and Dr. Har- 
rington ; and the bishop, who was in very high 
spirits, proposed a frolic, which was, that we should 
all go to Spring Gardens, 1 where he should give 
us tea, and thence proceed to Mr. Ferry's, to see 
a very curious house and garden. Mrs. Thrale 
pleaded that she had invited company to tea at 
home, but the bishop said we would go early, 
and should return in time, and was so gaily 
authoritative that he gained his point. He had 
been so long accustomed to command, when 
master of Westminster school, that he cannot 
prevail with himself, I believe, ever to be over- 

Dr. Harrington was engaged to a patient, and 
could not be of our party. But the three Thrales, 
the bishop, and I, pursued our scheme, crossed the 
Avon, had a sweet walk through the meadows, 
and drank tea at Spring Gardens, where the bishop 
did the honours with a spirit, a gaiety, and an 
activity that jovialised us all, and really we were 
prodigiously lively. We then walked on to Mr. 
Ferry's habitation. 

Mr. Ferry is a Bath alderman ; his house and 
garden exhibit the house and garden of Mr. 
Tattersall, 2 enlarged. Just the same taste pre- 
vails, the same paltry ornaments, the same crowd 
of buildings, the same unmeaning decorations, and 

1 These gardens, on the left bank of the Avon, "opposite the Monks' 
Mill," were much used for the public entertainments which were part of 
the Bath programme. Letter xiii. of Anstey's New Bath Guide is devoted 
to a musical breakfast at the Spring Gardens. 

2 See ante, p. 66. 


the same unsuccessful attempts at making some- 
thing of nothing. 

They kept us half an hour in the garden, while 
they were preparing for our reception in the house, 
where after parading through four or five little 
vulgarly showy closets, not rooms, we were con- 
ducted into a very gaudy little apartment, where 
the master of the house sat reclining on his arm, 
as if in contemplation, though everything conspired 
to show that the house and its inhabitants were 
carefully arranged for our reception. The bishop 
had sent in his name by way of gaining admission. 

The bishop, with a gravity of demeanour 
difficult to himself to sustain, apologised for our 
intrusion, and returned thanks for seeing the house 
and garden. Mr. Ferry started from his pensive 
attitude, and begged us to be seated, and then a 
curtain was drawn, and we perceived through a 
glass a perspective view of ships, boats, and water ! 
This raree-show over, the maid who officiated as 
show- woman had a hint given her, and presently 
a trap-door opened, and up jumped a covered table, 
ornamented with various devices. When we had 
expressed our delight at this long enough to 
satisfy Mr. Ferry, another hint was given, and 
presently down dropped an eagle from the ceiling, 
whose talons were put into a certain hook at the 
top of the covering of the table, and when the 
admiration at this was over, up again flew the 
eagle, conveying in his talons the cover, and leav- 
ing under it a repast of cakes, sweetmeats, oranges, 
and jellies. 

When our raptures upon this feat subsided, the 
maid received another signal, and then seated 
herself in an arm-chair, which presently sunk down 
underground, and up in its room came a barber's 
block, with a vast quantity of black wool on it, 
and a high head-dress. 


This, you may be sure, was more applauded 
than all the rest; we were en eoctase, and having 
properly expressed our gratitude, were soon after 
suffered to decamp. 

You may easily believe that these sights 
occasioned us a good merry walk home ; indeed 
we laughed all the way, and thought but little 
how time went till we were again crossing the 
Avon, when we were reminded of it by seeing the 
windows full of company. 

This was the worst part of the story. Mrs. 
Thrale was in horrid confusion, but as the bishop 
gave her absolution, her apologies were very good- 
naturedly accepted in general. But Mrs. Byron, 
half affronted, had decamped before we returned, 
and Mr. Travell, the beau, looked very grim at 
this breach of etiquette, and made his bow just 
after we returned. But what was to me most 
vexatious, was finding that Mrs. Carter, 1 had been 
waiting for us near an hour. The loss of her com- 
pany I most sincerely regretted, because it was 
irretrievable, as she was to leave Bath next day. 

The rest of the party waiting consisted of Miss 
Cooper, Misses F. and Harriet Bowdler, Miss 
Sharp, who is always with Mrs. Carter, Mrs. 
Lambart, and my gentle friend Augusta. The 
two latter had been to Spring Gardens in search 
of us, where they had drank tea, but we were then 
at Mr. Ferry's. 

As soon as the general apologies were over, 
Miss Cooper, who knew my earnest desire of being 
introduced to Mrs. Carter, kindly came up to me, 
and taking my hand, led me to her venerable 
friend, and told her who I was. Mrs. Carter 
arose, and received me with a smiling air of 
benevolence that more than answered all my 

1 Elizabeth Carter, 1717-1806, the friend of Johnson, and translator 
of Epictetus, 1758. She lived at Deal. 


expectations of her. She is really a noble-looking 
woman ; I never saw age so graceful in the female 
sex yet ; her whole face seems to beam with good- 
ness, piety, and philanthropy. 

She told me she had lately seen some relations 
of mine at Mrs. Ord's who had greatly delighted 
her by their musical talents — meaning, I found, 
Mr. Burney and our Etty ; and she said some- 
thing further in their praise, and of the pleasure 
they had given her ; but as I was standing in a 
large circle, all looking on, and as I kept her 
standing, I hardly could understand what she said, 
and soon after returned to my seat. 

She scarce stayed three minutes longer. When 
she had left the room, I could not forbear follow- 
ing her to the head of the stairs, on the pretence of 
inquiring for her cloak. She then turned round to 
me, and looking at me with an air of much kindness, 
said, "Miss Burney, I have been greatly obliged 
to you long before I have seen you, and must now 
thank you for the very great entertainment you 
have given me." 

This was so unexpected a compliment that I 
was too much astonished to make any answer. 
However, I am very proud of it from Mrs. Carter, 
and I will not fail to seek another meeting with 
her when I return to town, — which I shall be /7 s 
able enough to do by means of Miss Cooper, or 
Miss Ord, or Mrs. Pepys. 

You are, indeed, a most good and sweet girl for 
writing so copiously, and you oblige and indulge 
me more than I can express. 

Well, after I had read your letter, I went to the 
Belvidere, and made Mr. Thrale accompany me by 
way of exercise, for the Belvidere is near a mile 
from our house, and all up hill. 

Mrs. Leigh and her fair daughter received me 


with their usual kindness, which, indeed, is quite 
affectionate, and I found with them Miss Harriet 
Bowdler and Captain Frodsham. I negotiated 
matters with all the address in my power, and 
softened Mrs. Byron's haughty permission into a 
very civil invitation, which I hoped would occasion 
an agreeable meeting. Captain Frodsham is a 
very sensible, well-bred, and pleasing young man : 
he returned me many thanks for my interference, 
and said he would wait upon Mrs. Byron very 

We made a long visit here, as the people were 
mighty likeable, and then Miss Harriet Bowdler, 
Miss Leigh, and Captain Frodsham accompanied 
us to the parade, i.e. home. 

In the evening we all went to Mrs. Cholmley's, 
where we met Mrs. Poyntz, and were, as usual 
at that house, sociable, cheerful, and easy. 

Tuesday. — This morning, by appointment, we 
met a party at the pump-room, thence to proceed 
to Spring Gardens, to a public breakfast. 1 The 
folks, however, were not to their time, and we 
sallied forth only with the addition of Miss Weston 
and Miss Byron. 

As soon as we entered the gardens, Augusta, 
who had hold of my arm, called out, " Ah ! there's 
the man I danced with at the ball ! and he plagued 
me to death, asking me if I liked this, and that, 
and the other, and, when I said ' No,' he asked me 
what I did like ? So, I suppose he thought me a 
fool, and so, indeed, I am ! only you are so good 
to me that I wrote my sister Sophy word you had 
almost made me quite vain ; and she wrote to me 
t'other day a private letter, and told me how glad 
she was you were come back, for, indeed, I had 
written her word I should be quite sick of my life 
here, if it was not for sometimes seeing you." 

1 See ante, p. 388. 


The gentleman to whom she pointed presently 
made up to us, and I found he was Captain 
Bouchier, the same who had rattled away at Mr. 
Whalley's. He instantly joined Miss Weston and 
consequently our party, and was in the same style 
of flighty raillery as before. He seems to have a 
very good understanding, and very quick parts, but 
he is rather too conscious of both : however, he was 
really very entertaining, and as he abided wholly 
by Miss Weston, whose delicacy gave way to 
gaiety and flash, whether she would or not, I was 
very glad that he made one among us. 

The rest of the company soon came, and were 
Mr. and Mrs. Whalley, Mrs. Lambart, Mrs. 
Aubrey, Colonel Campbell, an old officer and old 
acquaintance of Mr. Thrale, and some others, both 
male and female, whose names I know not. 

We all sat in one box, but we had three tea- 
makers. Miss Weston presided at that table to 
which I belonged, and Augusta, Captain Bouchier, 
and herself were of our set. And gay enough we 
were, for the careless rattle of Captain Bouchier, 
which paid no regard to the daintiness of Miss 
Weston, made her obliged, in her own defence, to 
abate her finery, and laugh, and rally, and rail, in 
her turn. But, at last, I really began to fear that 
this flighty officer would bring on a serious quarrel, 
for, among other subjects he was sporting, he, 
unfortunately, started that of the Bath Easton 
Vase, which he ridiculed without mercy, and yet, 
according to all I have heard of it, without any 
injustice ; but Mrs. Whalley, who overheard him, 
was quite irritated with him. Sir John and Lady 
Miller are her friends, and she thought it incum- 
bent upon her to vindicate even this vain folly, 
which she did weakly and warmly, while Captain 
Bouchier only laughed and ridiculed them the 
more. Mrs. Whalley then coloured, and grew quite 


enraged, reasoning upon the wickedness of laugh- 
ing at her good friends, and talking of generosity 
and sentiment. Meanwhile, he scampered from 
side to side, to avoid her ; laughed, shouted, and 
tried every way of braving it out ; but was com- 
pelled at last to be serious, and enter into a solemn 
defence of his intentions, which were, he said, to 
ridicule the vase, not the Millers. 

In the evening we went to Mrs. Lambart's ; 
but of that visit, in which I made a very extra- 
ordinary new acquaintance, in my next packet ; 
for this will not hold the account. 

Wednesday. — To go on with Mrs. Lambart. 
The party was Mr. and Mrs. Vanbrugh — the 
former a good sort of man — the latter, Captain 
Bouchier says, reckons herself a woman of humour, 
but she kept it prodigious snug ; Lord Hunting- 
don, a very deaf old lord ; Sir Robert Pigot, a very 
thin old baronet ; Mr. Tyson, a very civil master 
of the ceremonies ; Mr. and Mrs. White, a very 

insignificant couple ; Sir James C , a bawling 

old man ; two Misses C , a pair of tonish 

misses ; Mrs. and Miss Byron ; Miss W , and 

certain others I knew nothing of. 

Augusta Byron, according to custom, had 
entered into conversation with me, and we were 
talking about her sisters, and her affairs, when 

Mr. E (whose name I forgot to mention), 

came to inform me that Mrs. Lambart begged 
to speak to me. She was upon a sofa with 

Miss W , who, it seemed, desired much to 

be introduced to me, and so I took a chair facing 

Miss W is young and pleasing in her 

appearance, not pretty, but agreeable in her face, 
and soft, gentle, and well-bred in her manners. 
Our conversation, for some time, was upon the 
common Bath topics ; but when Mrs. Lambart 


left us — called to receive more company — we went 
insensibly into graver matters. 

As I soon found, by the looks and expressions 
of this young lady, that she was of a peculiar cast, 
I left all choice of subjects to herself, determined 
quietly to follow as she led ; and very soon, and I 
am sure I know not how, we had for topics the 
follies and vices of mankind, and, indeed, she spared 
not for lashing them. The women she rather 
excused than defended, laying to the door of the 
men their faults and imperfections ; but the men, 
she said, were all bad — all, in one word, and with- 
out exception, sensualists ! 

I stared much at a severity of speech for which 
her softness of manner had so ill-prepared me ; and 
she, perceiving my surprise, said, 

" I am sure I ought to apologise for speaking 
my opinion to you — you, who have so just and so 
uncommon a knowledge of human nature. I have 
long wished ardently to have the honour of con- 
versing with you ; but your party has, altogether, 
been regarded as so formidable, that I have not had 
courage to approach it." 

I made — as what could I do else ? — disqualifying 
speeches, and she then led to discoursing of happi- 
ness and misery : the latter she held to be the 
invariable lot of us all ; and " one word," she added, 
" we have in our language, and in all others, for 
which there is never any essential necessity, and 
that is— pleasure ! " And her eyes filled with tears 
as she spoke. 

" How you amaze me ! " cried I ; " I have met 
with misanthropes before, but never with so com- 
plete a one ; and I can hardly think I hear right 
when I see how young you are." 

She then, in rather indirect terms, gave me to 
understand that she was miserable at home, and in 
very direct terms, that she was wretched abroad ; 


and openly said, that to affliction she was born, 
and in affliction she must die, for that the world 
was so vilely formed as to render happiness impos- 
sible for its inhabitants. 

There was something in this freedom of repining 
that I could by no means approve, and, as I found 
by all her manner that she had a disposition to 
even respect whatever I said, I now grew very 
serious, and frankly told her that I could not think 
it consistent with either truth or religion to cherish 
such notions. 

" One thing," answered she, " there is, which I 
believe might make me happy, but for that I have 
no inclination : it is an amorous disposition ; but 
that I do not possess. I can make myself no 
happiness by intrigue." 

" I hope not, indeed ! " cried I, almost confounded 
by her extraordinary notions and speeches ; "but, 
surely, there are worthier subjects of happiness 
attainable ! " 

" No, I believe there are not, and the reason the 
men are happier than us, is because they are more 
sensual ! " 

" I would not think such thoughts," cried I, 
clasping my hands with an involuntary vehemence, 
" for worlds ! " 

The Misses C then interrupted us, and 

seated themselves next to us ; but Miss W 

paid them little attention at first, and soon after 
none at all ; but, in a low voice, continued her dis- 
course with me, recurring to the same subject of 
happiness and misery, upon which, after again 
asserting the folly of ever hoping for the former, 
she made this speech, 

" There may be, indeed, one moment of happi- 
ness, which must be the finding one worthy of 
exciting a passion which one should dare own to 
himself. That would, indeed be a moment worth 


living for ! but that can never happen — I am sure, 
not to me — the men are so low, so vicious, so 
worthless ! No, there is not one such to be 
found ! " 

What a strange girl ! I could do little more 
than listen to her, from surprise at all she said. 

" If, however," she continued, " I had your 
talents I could, bad as this world is, be happy in it. 
There is nothing, there is nobody I envy like you. 
With such resources as yours there can never be 
ennui ; the mind may always be employed, and 
always be gay ! Oh, if I could write as you 
write ! " 

" Try,"cried I, " that is all that is wanting : try, 
and you will soon do much better things ! " 

" Oh no ! I have tried, but I cannot succeed." 

" Perhaps you are too diffident. But is it pos- 
sible you can be serious in so dreadful an assertion 
as that you are never happy ? Are you sure that 
some real misfortune would not show you that your 
present misery is imaginary ? " 

"I don't know," answered she, looking down, 
" perhaps it is so, — but in that case 'tis a misery so 
much the harder to be cured." 

" You surprise me more and more," cried I ; "is 
it possible you can so rationally see the disease of 
a disordered imagination, and yet allow it such 
power over your mind ? " 

"Yes, for it is the only source from which I 
draw any shadow of felicity. Sometimes when in 
the country, I give way to my imagination for 
whole days, and then I forget the world and its 
cares, and feel some enjoyment of existence." 

" Tell me what is then your notion of felicity ? 
Whither does your castle-building carry you ? " 

" Oh, quite out of the world — 1 know not where, 
but I am surrounded with sylphs, and I forget 
everything besides." 


" Well, you are a most extraordinary character, 
indeed ; I must confess I have seen nothing like 

" I hope, however, I shall find something like 
myself, and, like the magnet rolling in the dust, 
attract some metal as I go." 

" That you may attract what you please, is of all 
things the most likely ; but if you wait to be happy 
for a friend resembling yourself, I shall no longer 
wonder at your despondency." 

" Oh ! " cried she, raising her eyes in ecstasy, 
" could I find such a one ! — male or female — for sex 
would be indifferent to me. With such a one I 
would go to live directly." 

1 half laughed, but was perplexed in my own 
mind whether to be sad or merry at such a speech. 

" But then," she continued, " after making, 
should I lose such a friend, I would not survive." 

"Not survive ? " repeated I, " what can you 
mean ? 

She looked down, but said nothing. 

" Surely you cannot mean," said I, very gravely 
indeed, " to put a violent end to your life ? " 

" I should not," said she, again looking up, 
"hesitate a moment." 

I was quite thunderstruck, and for some time 
could not say a word ; but when I did speak, it was 
in a style of exhortation so serious and earnest, I 
am ashamed to write it to you, lest you should 
think it too much. 

She gave me an attention that was even respect- 
ful, but when I urged her to tell me by what right 
she thought herself entitled to rush unlicensed on 
eternity, she said, "By the right of believing I 
shall be extinct." 

I really felt horror-struck. 

" Where, for Heaven's sake," I cried, " where 
have you picked up such dreadful reasoning ? " 


" In Hume," said she ; " I have read his Essays 

" I am sorry to find they have power to do so 
much mischief. You should not have read them, 
at least till a man equal to Hume in abilities had 
answered him. Have you read any more infidel 
writers ? " 

"Yes, Bolingbroke, the divinest of all writers." 

"And do you read nothing upon the right 

" Yes, the Bible, till I was sick to death of it, 
every Sunday evening to my mother." 

" Have you read Beattie on the Immutability of 
Truth." 1 


" Give me leave then to recommend it to you. 
After Hume's Essays you ought to read it. And 
even for lighter reading, if you were to look at 
Mason's ' Elegy on Lady Coventry,' it might be of 
no disservice to you." 

And then I could not forbear repeating to her 
from that beautiful poem, 

" Yet, know, vain sceptics, know, th' Almighty Mind 
Who breath' d on man a portion of His fire, 
Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd, 
To Heaven, to immortality, aspire ! 

" Nor shall the pile of hope, His mercy rear'd, 
By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd ; 
Eternity — by all, or wish'd, or fear'd, 

Shall be by all, or suffer'd, or enjoy'd ! " 2 

This was the chief of our conversation, which 
indeed made an impression upon me I shall not 
easily get rid of. A young and agreeable infidel 

1 Beattie's *' Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth " was 
published in 1770 as an antidote to the philosophy of Hume. 

2 These are the final lines of Mason's " Elegy on the Death of a Lady " 
(Maria Gunning, Countess of Coventry, d. 1760, in which year the Elegy 
was written). 


is even a shocking sight, and with her romantic, 
flighty, and unguarded turn of mind, what could 
happen to her that could give surprise ? 

Poor misguided girl ! I heartily indeed wish 
she was in good hands. She is in a very dangerous 
situation, with ideas so loose of religion, and so 
enthusiastic of love. What, indeed, is there to 
restrain an infidel, who has no belief in a future 
state, from sin and evil of any sort ? 

[Before we left Mrs. Lambart, Mrs. Byron took 
me aside to beg I would go and make her peace 
with Captain Frodsham. Droll enough to have 
the tables so turned. She feared, she said, that she 
had offended him by certain unfortunate reflections 
she had inadvertently cast upon some officers to 
whom he was related. The particulars would but 
tire you ; but I readily undertook the commission, 
and assured her I was certain such condescension 
on her part would make the captain all her own. 

Augusta, with her usual sweetness, lamented 

seeing so little of me, as Miss W had occupied 

me solely ; but said she did not wonder, and had 
no right to complain, as she wished to do the same. 
She is, indeed, quite romantic in her partiality. 

Thursday. — In the morning I walked to the 
Belvidere, to execute my commission. Captain 
Frodsham I met at Mrs. Leigh's, and began my 
treaty of peace, but soon found he had taken no 
offence, but, on the contrary, had been much 
charmed with Mrs. Byron's conversation and viva- 
city. I had therefore soon done, and having spent 
an hour with them very agreeably, I proceeded to 
Mrs. Byron, to tell her the success of the negotia- 
tion. Augusta walked back with me, but on the 

South Parade we met Miss C , who joined me, 

and then the bashful Augusta would not go another 
step, but hastily shook my hand and ran away. 

At night, however, we met again, as we had a 


party at home, consisting of the Byrons, Dean of 
Ossory, Mrs. and Charlotte Lewis, Mrs. Lambart, 
and Dr. Finch. 

Dr. Finch is a tall, large, rather handsome, 
smiling, and self-complacent clergyman. He talked 
very much of an old lady here aged ninety, who 
was very agreeable, and upon inquiry I found she 
was Mrs. Ord's mother, Mrs. Dellingham. I could 
not forbear wishing to see her, and then Dr. Finch, 
who lodges in the same house with her, was very 
pressing to introduce me to her. I could not agree 
to so abrupt an intrusion, but I did not object to 
his making overtures for such a meeting, as my 
affection and respect for Mrs. Ord made me 
extremely wish to see her mother. 

Friday. — Early this morning I received my 
Susan's second packet of this second Bath journey. 
The remaining account of the miserere concert is 
very entertaining, and Rauzzini's badinage diverted 
me much. 

I have nobody to tell you of here that you care 
a fig for, but not caring, you may sometimes have 
a chance of being diverted, — so on I go. 

This morning, by appointment, I was to break- 
fast with Miss Leigh. Just as I came to the 
pump-room, I met Mr. and Mrs. Cholmley. The 
latter shook hands with me, and said she should 
leave Bath in a day or two. I was very sorry for 
it, as she is a real loss to me. On, then, I posted, 
and presently before me I perceived Lord Mul- 
grave. As I was rather hurried, I meant to take 
an adroit turn to pass him, but he was in a frisky 
humour, and danced before me from side to side to 
stop me, saying, " Why where now, where are you 
posting so fast ? " 

I then halted, and we talked a little talk of 
the Thrales, of the weather, etc., and then finding 
he was at his old trick of standing still before me, 

vol. i 2d 


without seeming to have any intention we should 
separate, though I did not find he had anything 
more to say, I rather abruptly wished him good- 
morning and whisked off. 

I had, however, only gone another street ere I 
again encountered him, and then we both laughed, 
and he walked on with me. He himself lives at 
the Belvidere, and very good-humouredly made my 
pace his, and chatted with me all the way, till 1 
stopped at Mrs. Leigh's. Our confabulation how- 
ever was all about Bath matters and people, and, 
therefore, will not bear writing, though I assure you 
it was pretty enough, and of half a mile's length. 

[At the Leighs' I found Harriet Bowdler, and 
passed the morning very comfortably.] 

In the evening was the last ball expected to be 
at Bath this season, and, therefore, knowing we 
could go to no other, it was settled we should 
go to this. Of our party were Mrs. Byron and 
Augusta, Miss Philips, and Charlotte Lewis. 

Mrs. Byron was placed at the upper end of the 
room by Mr. Tyson, because she is honourable, 
and her daughter next to her ; I, of course, the 
lowest of our party ; but the moment Mr. Tyson 
had arranged us, Augusta arose, and nothing 
would satisfy her but taking a seat not only next 
to but below me ; nor could I, for my life, get the 
better of the affectionate humility with which she 
quite supplicated me to be content. She was soon 
after followed by Captain Brisbane, a young officer, 
who had met her in Spring Gardens, and seemed 
much struck with her, and was now presented to 
her by Mr. Tyson for her partner. 

Captain Brisbane is a very pretty sort of young 
man, but did not much enliven us. Soon after 1 
perceived Captain Bouchier, who, after talking 
some time with Mrs. Thrale, and various parties, 
made up to us, and upon Augusta's being called 


upon to dance a minuet, took her place, and began 
a very lively sort of chit-chat. 

[I had, however, no small difficulty to keep him 
from abusing my friend Augusta. He had once 
danced with her, and their commerce had not been 
much to her advantage. I defended her upon the 
score of her amiable simplicity and unaffected 
ingenuousness, but I could not have the courage 
to contradict him when he said he had no notion 
she was very brilliant by the conversation he had 
with her. Augusta, indeed, is nothing less than 
brilliant, but she is natural, artless, and very 

Just before she went to dance her minuet, upon 
my admiring her bouquet, which was the most 
beautiful in the room, she tore from it the only 
two moss-roses in it, and so spoilt it all before her 
exhibition, merely that I might have the best of it. 

Country dances were now preparing, and 
Captain Bouchier asked me for the honour of my 
hand, but I had previously resolved not to dance, 
and, therefore, declined his offer. But he took, of 
the sudden, a fancy to prate with me, and therefore 
budged not after the refusal. 

He told me this was the worst ball for company 
there had been the whole season ; and, with a 
wicked laugh that was too significant to be mis- 
understood, said, "And, as you have been to no 
other, perhaps you will give this for a specimen of 
a Bath ball ! " 

He told me he had very lately met with Hannah 
More, and then mentioned Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. 
Carter, whence he took occasion to say most high 
and fine things of the ladies of the present age, — 
their writings, and talents ; and I soon found he 
had no small reverence for us blue-stockings. 

About this time, Charlotte, 1 who had confessedly 

1 Charlotte Lewis. See ante, p. 339. 


dressed herself for dancing, but whose pretty face 
had by some means been overlooked, drawled 
towards us, and asked me why I would not 
dance ? 

" I never intended it," said I ; " but I hoped to 
have seen you." 

" No," said she, yawning, " no more shall I, — I 
don't choose it." 

"Don't you?" said Captain Bouchier drily, 
" why not ? " 

" Why, because I don't like it." 

" Oh fie ! " cried he ; " consider how cruel that 



" I must consider myself," said she pertly ; " for 
I don't choose to heat myself this hot weather." 

Just then, a young man came forward, and 
requested her hand. She coloured, looked ex- 
cessively silly, and walked off with him to join 
the dancers. 

When, between the dances, she came our way, 
he plagued her, a la Sir Clement. 1 

" Well," cried he, " so you have been dancing 
this hot night ! I thought you would have con- 
sidered yourself better ? " 

" Oh," said she, " I could not help it — I had 
much rather not ; — it was quite disagreeable to 

" No, no, — pardon me there ! " said he malici- 
ously ; "I saw pleasure dance first in your eyes ; 
I never saw you look more delighted : you were 
quite the queen of smiles ! " 

She looked as if she could have killed him ; 
and yet, from giddiness and good-humour, was 
compelled to join in the laugh. 

After this we went to tea. When that was 
over, and we all returned to the ball-room, Captain 
Bouchier followed me, and again took a seat next 

1 Cf. Evelina, Letter xiii. 


mine, which he kept, without once moving, the 
whole night. 

[He again applied to me to dance, but I was 
more steady than Charlotte ; and he was called 
upon, and reproached by Captain Brisbane and 
others for sitting still when there were so few 
dancers ; but he told them he could not endure 
being pressed into the service, or serving at all 
under the master of the ceremonies. 

Well, I have no more time for particulars, 
though we had much more converse ; for so it 
happened that we talked all the evening almost 
together, as Mrs. Thrale and Mrs. Byron were 
engaged with each other : Miss Thrale, who did 
not dance, was fairly jockeyed out of her place 
next me by Captain Bouchier, and the other 
young ladies were with their partners.] 

Before we broke up, this Captain asked me if I 
should be at the play next night ? — " Yes," I could 
not but say, as we had had places taken some 
time ; but I did not half like it, for his manner 
of asking plainly implied, "If you go, why / 
will ! " 

When we made our exit, he saw me safe out of 
the rooms, with as much attention as if we had 
actually been partners. As we were near home 
we did not get into chairs ; and Mr. Travell joined 
us in our walk. 

"Why, what a flirtation!" cried Mrs. Thrale; 
" why, Burney, this is a man of taste ! — Pray, Mr. 
Travell, will it do ? What has he ? " 

"Twenty thousand pounds, ma'am," answered 
the beau. 

" Oh ho ! has he so ?— Well, well, we'll think 
of it." 

Finding her so facetious, I determined not to 
acquaint her with the query concerning the play, 
knowing that, if I did, and he appeared there, she 


would be outrageous in merriment. She is a most 
dear creature, but never restrains her tongue in 
anything, nor, indeed, any of her feelings : — she 
laughs, cries, scolds, sports, reasons, makes fun, — 
does everything she has an inclination to do, 
without any study of prudence, or thought of 
blame ; and, pure and artless as is this character, 
it often draws both herself and others into scrapes, 
which a little discretion would avoid. 


Bath diary resumed — A dinner-party — Raillery — Flirtation — 
The Bath theatre — Bath actors — The Abbey Church — 
Garrick and Quin — Morning calls — Curiosity — The Dean 
of Ossory — Beau Travell — Family quarrels — An oddity — 
Bath Easton — Female admiration — Miss Bowdler — A female 
sceptic — A baby critic — Lord George Gordon — The No- 
Popery riots — Danger of Mr. Thrale from the riots — 
Precipitate retreat — Letters from Miss Burney — Public 
excitement — Riots at Bath — Salisbury — Mr. Thrale' s house 
attacked — Letters from Dr. Burney and Mrs. Thrale — 
Description of the riots — Brighton society — Conclusion of 
the riots — Letters from Miss Burney — Pacchierotti — A 
dinner-party at Dr. Burney 's — Lord Sandwich — Captain 
Cook's Journal — Letter from Mrs. Thrale — Brighton society 
— Grub Street — Miss Burney to Mrs. Thrale — Dangerous 
times — A dinner-party at Dr. Burney' s — A visit to Dr. 
Johnson — Miss Burney and Dr. Johnson in Grub Street — 
Son of Edmund Burke — A female rattle — Johnson's Lives 
of the Poets — Streatham diary resumed — Brighton — Lady 
Hesketh — Lady Shelley — A juvenile musician — Dangerous 
illness of Mr. Thrale — Dr. Johnson and Mr. Murphy — Lady 
Ladd — Letters — Sheridan's Critic — Evelina in the Bodleian 
Library — Promotion — Chit-chat. 

Bath Diary resumed 

June, — I feel myself inclined, my dearest Susy, to 
do nothing now but write to you ; and so many 
packets do I owe you, that le devoir here joins 

I left off with Friday's ball. 



Saturday morning I spent in visiting. [When I 
took leave of the Cholmleys, called on the Lewis's, 
Kynaston, Weston, Whalley, Mrs. Lambart, and 
the Bowdlers.] 

At dinner we had Mrs. Lambart and Colonel 
Campbell. All the discourse was upon Augusta 
Byron's having made a conquest of Captain 
Brisbane, and the match was soon concluded upon, 
— at least, they all allowed it would be decided 
this night, when she was to go with us to the 
play ; and if Captain Brisbane was there, why then 
he was in for it, and the thing was done. 

Well — Augusta came at the usual time ; 
Colonel Campbell took leave, but Mrs. Lambart 
accompanied us to the play : and, in the lobby, 
the first object we saw was Captain Brisbane. He 
immediately advanced to us, and, joining our party, 
followed us to our box. 

Nothing could equal the wickedness of Mrs. 
Thrale and Mrs. Lambart ; they smiled at each 
other with such significance ! Fortunately, how- 
ever, Augusta did not observe them. 

Well, we took our seats, and Captain Brisbane, 
by getting into the next box, on a line with ours, 
placed himself next to Augusta : but, hardly had 
Mrs. T. and L. composed their faces, ere I heard 
the box-door open. Every one looked round but 
me, and I had reasons for avoiding such curiosity, 
— reasons well enough founded, for instantly grins, 
broader than before, widened the mouths of the 
two married ladies, while even Miss Thrale began 
a titter that half choked her, and Augusta, nodding 
to me with an arch smirk, said, " Miss Burney, I 
wish you joy !" 

To be sure I could have no doubt who entered, 
but, very innocently, I demanded of them all the 
cause of their mirth. They scrupled not explain- 
ing themselves ; and I found my caution, in not 


mentioning the query that had been put to me, 
availed me nothing, for the Captain was already a 
marked man in my service ! 

He placed himself exactly behind me, but very 
quietly and silently, and did not, for some minutes, 
speak to me ; afterwards, however, he did a little, 
— except when my favourite, Mr. Lee, who acted 
Old Norval, in Douglas, 1 was on the stage, and 
then he was strictly silent. I am in no cue to 
write our discourse ; but it was pleasant and 
entertaining enough at the time, and his observa- 
tions upon the play and the players were lively 
and comical. But I was prodigiously worried by 
my own party, who took every opportunity to 
inquire how I was entertained, and so forth, — and 
to snigger. 

Two young ladies, who seemed about eighteen, 
and sat above us, were so much shocked by the 
death of Douglas, that they both burst into a 
loud fit of roaring, like little children, — and sobbed 
on, afterwards, for almost half the farce ! I was 
quite astonished; and Miss Weston complained 
that they really disturbed her sorrows ; but Captain 
Bouchier was highly diverted, and went to give 
them comfort, as if they had been babies, telling 
them it was all over, and that they need not cry 
any more. 

Sunday, — In the morning, after church-time, I 
spent an hour or two in looking over the abbey- 
church, and reading epitaphs, — among which, 
Garrick's on Quin was much the best. 2 [There is 
a monument erected, also, for Sarah Fielding, who 
wrote David Simple, by Dr. Hoadley.] 

Will any future doctor do as much for me ?] 

In the afternoon, I called upon the Leighs, to 
take leave, as they were going from Bath next 

1 A tragedy by John Home, 1722-1808. It was first produced at 
Edinburgh in*1756. 2 See ante, p. 63 n. 


day. [Mrs. Leigh was out, but her daughter kept 
me to the last minute another engagement would 
allow, and then took quite a kind and friendly 
farewell. She is really so sensible, so well-bred, 
and so engaging, that I shall always be very happy 
to meet with her. I gave her our direction and 
she promised to make use of it. 

From her] I went to Mrs. Byron's, where the 
Thrales were already, and a large party : Lord 
Mulgrave, Mrs. Vanbrugh, Mrs. Lambart, Captains 
Brisbane and Frodsham, Beau Travell, Mr. Tyson, 
the Hon. Mr. Wyndham, brother to Lord Egre- 
mont, and Mr. Chad wick. 

[Though the party was so good, I have not a 
word to write concerning it, for I only conversed 
with Augusta and, on her account, Captain 
Brisbane ; and though she is a very sweet girl, 
she is not, as Captain Bouchier said, very brilliant, 
and therefore I should not dazzle you with much 
wit in recording our speeches. 

Monday, — At breakfast, Mrs. Thrale said, " Ah, 
you never tell me your love-secrets, but I could 
tell you one if I chose it ! " This produced en- 
treaties — and entreaties thus much further — 

" Why, I know very well who is in love with 
Fanny Burney ! " 

I told her that was more than I did, but 
owned it was not difficult to me to guess who she 
meant, though I could not tell what. 

" Captain Bouchier," said she. " But you did 
not tell me so, nor he either ; I had it from Mr. 
Tyson, our master of the ceremonies, who told me 
you made a conquest of him at the ball ; and he 
knows these matters pretty well ; 'tis his trade to 
know them." 

" Well-a-day ! " quoth I, " 'tis unlucky we did 
not meet a little sooner, for this very day he is 
ordered away with his troop into Norfolk." 

1780 THE AUTH/'JR OF < EVELINA' 411 

After breakfast, Fanny Bowdler called upon 
me, and we were tete-a-tete all the morning. She 
is an extraordinary good tete-a-tete, and I did not 
think her the less agreeable, I suppose, for telling 
me that Mrs. Carter has condescended to speak of 
me in very flattering terms since our meeting. 

She told me also that Miss Leigh is soon to be 
married to Captain Frodsham. I am very glad of 
it, as they seem very deserving of each other, 
and will make a most agreeable and sensible 

In the evening we were at the Vanbrughs', 

where we met Mr., Mrs., and Miss G , all 

three mighty tonish folks : the Mr. in a common 
and heavy way, the Mrs. in an insolent, overbear- 
ing way, and the Miss in a shy, proud, stiff way. 
Also the good-humoured Dr. Maningham, and 
Mrs. and Miss ditto, of no characters apparent ; 
Miss Jones, an ugly, sensible, reserved woman ; 
her father — I know not what ; Mr. Tom Pitt, 
a prosing, conceited man of fashion, and sense to 
boot ; Mrs. Lambart, Mrs. Byron, and some others 
I know not. 

All the early part of the evening Miss Thrale 
and I sat together ; but afterwards Mrs. Thrale, 
who was at another part of the room, called me 
over, and said, 

"Come, Miss Burney, come and tell Mrs. 
Lambart about these green rails at Clifton." 

And so saying, she gave me her seat, which 
was between Mrs. Lambart and Mrs. Byron, and 
walked away to other folks. 

I found they had all been laughing about some 
house upon Clifton Hill with green rails, which 
Mrs. Lambart vowed was Mrs. Beaumont's, 1 and 
said she was sure I must have meant it should 

1 Mrs. Beaumont is a character in Evelina, whose house was on Clifton 


seem such : and a sportively complimentary con- 
versation took place, and lasted till Mrs. G , 

having cut out at cards, with an air of tonish 
stateliness approached us, and seating herself by 
Mrs. Lambart, and nearly opposite to me, fixed 
her eyes on my face, and examined it with a 
superb dignity of assurance that made me hardly 
know what I said, in my answers to Mrs. Lambart 
and Mrs. Byron. 

Having looked in silence till she was tired, in 
which I must own I felt some sympathy, she 
whispered Mrs. Lambart, 

" Is that Miss Burney ?" 

" Yes," re- whispered Mrs. Lambart ; " shall I 
introduce her to you ? " 

" No, no," answered she, " I can do that well 

This, though all in very low voices, I was too 
near not to hear ; and I began to feel monstrous 
glumpy upon this last speech, which indeed was 
impertinent enough. 

Soon after, this high lady said, 

" Were you ever in Bath before, Miss Burney ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," I replied, very drily ; and to 
show how little I should stoop the lower for her 
airs, I instantly went on talking with Mrs. Byron, 
without allowing her an opportunity for the 
conference she seemed opening. Characters of 
this sort always make me as proud as they are 
themselves ; while the avidity with which Mrs. 
Byron honours, and the kindness with which Mrs. 
Thrale delights me, make me ready to kiss even the 
dust that falls from their feet. 

Having now, therefore, reanimated my courage, 
I took a fit of talking, and made my own part 
good, and then I less minded her busy eyes, which 
never a moment spared me. 

This lasted till Mrs. Thrale again joined us, 


and sat down next to Mrs. G , who, in a few 

minutes, said to her in a whisper, 

"She is just what I have heard — I like her 

This quite amazed me, for her whisper was 
unavoidably heard by me, as we all sat cheek by 
jowl ; and presently she repeated with yet more 

" I like her of all things." 

" Yes, she is a sweet creature indeed," answered 
my dear puffer, " and I am sure I love her dearly." 

Afterwards, she asked Mrs. Thrale a hundred 
questions concerning Dr. Johnson, with an air and 
an abruptness that provoked her so she could 
hardly answer her ; and when Mrs. Lambart again 

hinted at the green rails, Mrs. G , looking at 

me with a smile the softest she could assume, 

" I am a great admirer of Evelina — I think it 
has very great merit." 

And I daresay she thought the praise of Dr. 
Johnson had never been half so flattering to me. 

Tuesday evening we spent at the Dean of 
Ossory's. We met no company there but Dr. 
Finch, who appointed the next morning for pre- 
senting me to Mrs. Dellingham. 1 {N.B. I hope 
I have mentioned this doctor is married, otherwise 
you may be justly and cruelly alarmed for my 

[All my afternoon was devoted to Charlotte 

L , whose wild, giddy nonsense entertained me 

passing well. 

O Heavens ! I forgot that Beau Travell was 
there ! and just before we went, he came up to 
Charlotte and me, to upbraid us for talking only 
to each other, and then he said, 

" I am sorry, Miss Burney, that your friend 

1 Mrs. Orel's mother. See ante, p. 188. 


Captain Bouchier is gone; he is ordered directly 
into Norfolk." 

Our friendship, I told him, was quite long 
enough of duration to make us vastly afflicted that 
it was broken up.] 

Wednesday. — Dr. Finch called in the morning, 
and escorted me to Mrs. Dellingham's. 

Mrs. Dellingham is said to be ninety and more ; 
I, therefore, expected to walk up to her easy chair 
and bawl out in her ear, " Ma'am, your servant"; 
but no such thing happened ; to my great surprise, 
she met me at the door of the drawing-room, took 
my hand, welcomed me very politely, and led me 
to the best seat at the upper end of the room. 
She is a very venerable and cheerful old gentle- 
woman, walks well, hears readily, is almost quite 
upright, and very chatty and well bred. 

My discourse, as you may imagine, was all of 
Mrs. Ord ; but Dr. Finch took care it should not 
be much, as he is one of those placid prosers who 
are never a moment silent. 

As soon as I had returned home, Charlotte 

L 1 called, and the little gig 2 told all the 

quarrels and all les malheurs of the domestic life 
she led in her family, and made them all ridiculous, 
without meaning to make herself so. 

She was but just gone, when I was again called 
down to Miss Weston — nobody else at home : 
and then I was regaled with a character equally 
ludicrous, but much less entertaining, for nothing 
would she talk of but " dear nature," and nothing 
abuse but " odious affectation ! " She really would 
be too bad for the stage, for she is never so con- 
tent as when drawing her own character for other 
people's as if on purpose to make one sick of it. 

1 Lewis. 

2 A flighty person. Davies's Supplementary Glossary, 1881, gives Miss 
Burney as authority for this word. 


She begged, however, for my town direction, and 
talked in high strains of the pleasure she should 
have in visiting me. But in London we can 
manage those matters better. She was to leave 
Bath next day. 

Mrs. Whalley also called pour prendre conge, 
and made much invitation to her country seat 
for us. 

In the evening, we all went to Mrs. Lambart's, 
where we met the Grenvilles, Byrons, Vanbrughs, 
Captain Brisbane, Messrs. Chadwicke, Travell, and 
Wyndham, Miss Philips, Lady Dorothy Inglish, 
Lord Cunningham, and various others. But I have 
no time for particulars, and, as I shall, perhaps, see 
few of them any more, no inclination. 

Thursday, June 8. — We went to Bath Easton. 
Mrs. Lambart went with us. 

The house is charmingly situated, well fitted 
up, convenient, and pleasant, and not large, but 
commodious and elegant. Thursday is still their 
public day for company, though the business of 
the vase is over for this season. 

The room into which we were conducted was 
so much crowded we could hardly make our way. 
Lady Miller came to the door, and, as she had first 
done to the rest of us, took my hand, and led me 
up to a most prodigious fat old lady, and intro- 
duced me to her. This was Mrs. Riggs, her lady- 
ship's mother, who seems to have Bath Easton and 
its owners under her feet. 

I was smiled upon with a graciousness designedly 
marked, and seemed most uncommonly welcome. 
Mrs. Riggs looked as if she could have shouted for 
joy at sight of me ! She is mighty merry and 
facetious. Sir John was very quiet, but very civil. 

I saw the place appropriated for the vase, but 
at this time it was removed. 1 As it was hot, Sir 

1 As, at this date, the famous Frascati vase was not enfonction, and 


John Miller offered us to walk round the house, 
and see his green-house, etc. So away we set off, 
Harriet Bowdler accompanying me, and some others 

We had not strolled far ere we were overtaken 
by another party, and among them I perceived 

Miss W , my new sceptical friend. She joined 

me immediately, and I found she was by no means 
in so sad a humour as when I saw her last ; on the 
contrary, she seemed flightily gay. 

" Were you never here before ? " she asked me. 


" No ? why, what an acquisition you are then ! 
I suppose you will contribute to the vase ? " 

" No, indeed ! " 

" No more you ought ; you are quite too good 
for it." 

" No, not that ; but I have no great passion 
for making the trial. You, I suppose, have con- 
tributed ? " 

" No, never — I can't. I have tried, but I could 
never write verses in my life — never get beyond 
Cupid and stupid." 

" Did Cupid, then, always come in your way ? 
what a mischievous urchin ! " 

" No, he has not been very mischievous to me 
this year." 

as Miss Burney never contributed to it, brief notice of it is all that is 
here required. It stood in a bow window overlooking the Avon at 
Lady Miller's villa at Batheaston, near Bath, and into it, periodically, 
her guests dropped their poetical contributions. These were after- 
wards submitted to a critical committee, who selected the best three, 
to the writers of which the hostess presented suitable prizes. Walpole 
and Johnson pooh - poohed these ingenuous diversions ; and Macaulay 
speaks scoffingly of the proceedings. Yet Anstey and Garrick and Miss 
Seward were occasional contributors, and the verses cannot all have been 
contemptible. They were subsequently collected under the title of 
Poetical Amusements at a Villa near Bath, 1775-81, 4 vols. As for the 
vase itself, according to the Rector of Swanswick, Professor Earle {Bath 
Ancient and Modern, 1864, p. 214 n.), it is no more. On the other hand, 
it is stated in the Dictionary of National Biography (1894) that it was 
" purchased by Edwyn Dowding, of Bath, and placed by him in the Public 
Park of the town." There is a print of it in vol. i. of Poetical Amusements. 


" Not this year ? Oh, very well ! He has 
spared you, then, for a whole twelvemonth ! " 

She laughed, and we were interrupted by more 

Afterwards, when we returned into the house, 
we found another room filled with company. 

Among those that I knew were the C s, the 

G s, some of the Bowdlers, Mr. Wyndham, 

and Miss J . 

This Miss J— had, when I last met her at 

Mrs. Lambart's, desired to be introduced to me, as 
Mrs. Lambart told me, who performed that cere- 
mony ; for Mrs. Lambart, with whom I am in no 
small favour, always makes me the most con- 
sequential, and I found she was Mrs. Rishton's old 
friend, and, therefore, all I remember hearing of 
her gave me no desire to make her my new one. 
However, nothing convinced me more that I was 
the ion at Bath, than her making this overture, for 
everything I ever heard of her proved her insolent 
pride. Besides, Beau Travell has spoken very 
highly of me ! So my fame is now made, and 

Mrs. G , who had passed me when she entered 

the room at Bath Easton, while I was engaged in 
conversation with Lady Miller, afterwards suddenly 
came up, and with a look of equal surprise and 
pleasure at sight of me, most graciously and smil- 
ingly addressed me. My coldness in return to all 
these sickening, heartless, ton-led people, I try not 
to repress, though to treat them with such respect 
as their superior stations fairly claim, I would not 
for the world neglect. 

Some time after, while I was talking with Miss 

W and Harriet Bowdler, Mrs. Riggs came up 

to us, and with an expression of comical admiration, 
fixed her eyes upon me, and for some time amused 
herself with apparently watching me. Mrs. Lam- 
bart, who was at cards, turned round and begged 

vol. i 2 E 


me to give her her cloak, for she felt rheumatic ; 
I could not readily find it, and, after looking some 
time, I was obliged to give her my own ; but while 
I was hunting, Mrs. Riggs followed me, laughing, 
nodding, and looking much delighted, and every 
now and then saying, 

" That's right, Evelina ! — Ah, look for it, 
Evelina ! — Evelina always did so — she always 
looked for people's cloaks, and was obliging and 
well-bred ! " 

I grinned a little to be sure, but tried to escape 

her, by again getting between Miss W and 

Harriet Bowdler ; but Mrs. Riggs still kept opposite 
to me, expressing from time to time, by uplifted 
hands and eyes, comical applause. 

Harriet Bowdler modestly mumbled some praise, 
but addressed it to Miss Thrale. I begged a truce, 
and retired to a chair in a corner, at the request 

of Miss W , to have a tete-a-tete, for which, 

however, her strange levity gave me no great 

She begged to know if I had written anything 
else. I assured her never. 

" The Sylph" l said she, " I am told, was yours." 

" I had nothing at all to do with that or any- 
thing else that ever was published but Evelina ; 
you, I suppose, read the Sylph for its name's 
sake ? " 

" No ; I never read novels — I hate them ; I 
never read Evelina till I was quite persecuted by 
hearing it talked of. Sir Charles Grandison I tried 
once, but could not bear it ; Sir Charles for a lover ! 
no lover for me ! for a guardian or the trustee of 

1 The Sylph, 2 vols., was published by Lowndes, who — as we have 
seen — was not unwilling that it should be attributed to Miss Burney. It 
is reviewed in the Gentleman's Magazine for June 1779. "The whole," 
says Mr. Urban, " is well intended ; but displays too great a knowledge 
of the ton, and the worst, though perhaps the highest, part of the world, 
to be the work of a young Lady, as has been said and supposed " (p. 316). 


an estate, he might do very well — but for a 
lover ! " 

" What — when he bows upon your hand ! would 
not that do ? " 

She kept me by her side for a full hour, and 
we again talked over our former conversation ; and 
I inquired what first led her to seeking infidel 
books ? 

" Pope," she said ; " he was himself a deist, she 
believed, and his praise of Bolingbroke made her 
mad to read his books, and then the rest followed 

She also gave me an account of her private and 
domestic life ; of her misery at home, her search of 
dissipation, and her incapability of happiness. 

Poor girl ! I am really sorry for her ; she lias 
strong and lively parts, but I think her in the high 
road of lasting destruction. And she thinks about 
religion only to persuade herself there is none. 
I recommended to her all the good books I could 
think of, and scrupled not to express warmly and 
most seriously my surprise and horror at her way 
of thinking. It was easy to me to see that she 
attended to my opinions with curiosity, and yet 
easier to discover that had she not respected me as 
the author of a book she happened to be fond of, 
she would have rallied them unmercifully ; how- 
ever, that consideration gave weight to what I 
said, and evidently disposed her to be pleased 
with me. 

Our conversation would have lasted till leave- 
taking, but for our being interrupted by Miss 
Miller, a most beautiful little girl of ten years old. 

Miss W begged her to sing us a French 

song. She coquetted, but Mrs. Riggs came to us, 
and said if I wished it I did her grand-daughter 
great honour, and she insisted upon her obedience. 
The little girl laughed and complied, and we went 


into another room to hear her, followed by the 
Misses Caldwell. She sung in a pretty childish 
manner enough. 

When we became more intimate, she said, 

"Ma'am, I have a great favour to request of 
you, if you please ! " 

I begged to know what it was, and assured her 
I would grant it ; and, to be out of the way of these 
misses, I led her to the window. 

" Ma'am," said the little girl, " will you then be 
so good as to tell me where Evelina is now ? " 

I was a little surprised at the question, and told 
her I had not heard lately. 

" Oh, ma'am, but I am sure you know I " cried 
she, "for you know you wrote it ! and mamma was 
so good as to let me hear her read it ; and pray, 
ma'am, do tell me where she is ? and whether Miss 
Branghton and Miss Polly went to see her when 
she was married to Lord Orville ? " 

I promised her I would inquire, and let her know. 

" And pray, ma'am, is Madame Duval with her 
now ( 

And several other questions she asked me, with 
a childish simplicity that was very diverting. She 
took the whole for a true story, and was quite eager 
to know what was become of all the people. And 
when I said I would inquire, and tell her when we 
next met, 

" Oh, but, ma'am," she said, " had not you 
better write it down, because then there would be 
more of it, you know ? " 

She told me repeatedly how sorry she was that 
I had not come to Bath Easton in " vase " time, 
and how sorry her mamma had been. 

When we were coming away, and Lady Miller 
and Sir John had both taken very civil leave 
of me, I curtsied in passing Mrs. Riggs, and she 
rose, and called after me — " Set about another ! " 


When we came home, our newspaper accounts 
of the tumults in town, with Lord George Gordon 
and his mob, alarmed us very much ; but we had 
still no notion of the real danger you were all in. 

Friday. — We drank tea with the Bowdlers, and 
met Captain Frodsham. Fanny Bowdler con- 
gratulated me very wickedly upon my initiation 
at Bath Easton. At our return home we were 
informed a mob was surrounding a new Roman 
Catholic chapel. At first we disbelieved it, but 
presently one of the servants came and told us 
they were knocking it to pieces ; and in half an 
hour, looking out of our windows, we saw it in 
flames ! and listening, we heard loud and violent 
shouts ! 

I shall write no particulars ; the horrible subject 
you have had more than your share of. Mrs. 
Thrale and I sat up till four o'clock, and walked 
about the parades, and at two we went with a 
large party to the spot, and saw the beautiful new 
building consuming ; the mob then were all quiet 
— all still and silent, and everybody seemed but as 

Saturday morning, to my inexpressible concern, 
brought me no letters from town, and my uneasi- 
ness to hear from you made me quite wretched. 
Mrs. Thrale had letters from Sir Philip Clerke and 
Mr. Perkins, to acquaint her that her town-house 1 
had been three times attacked, but was at last 
saved by guards, — her children, plate, money, and 
valuables all removed. Streatham also threatened, 
and emptied of all its furniture. 

The same morning also we saw a Bath and 
Bristol paper, in which Mr. Thrale was asserted to 

1 Mr. Thrale's house in the Borough was in Deadman's Place, Bank- 
side, now called Park Street, Borough Market. When, in 1781, the 
Brewery was sold, the house was given by Mrs. Thrale to Mrs. Perkins. 
Johnson wrote his life of Congreve there. (Hill's Letters of Samuel 
Johnson, 1892, ii. 160.) 


be a papist. This villainous falsehood terrified us 
even for his personal safety, and Mrs. Thrale and 
I agreed it was best to leave Bath directly, and 
travel about the country. 

She left to me the task of acquainting Mr. 
Thrale with these particulars, being herself too 
much disturbed to be capable of such a task. I 
did it as well as I could, and succeeded so far that, 
by being lightly told of it, he treated it lightly, 
and bore it with much steadiness and composure. 
We then soon settled to decamp. 

We had no time nor spirits pour prendre conge 
stuff, but determined to call upon the Bowdlers 
and Miss Cooper. They were all sorry to part, 
and Miss Cooper, to my equal surprise and 
pleasure, fairly made a declaration of her passion 
for me, assuring me she had never before taken 
so great a fancy to a new acquaintance, and 
beginning warmly the request I meant to make 
myself, of continuing our intimacy in town. I 
am sure I think so highly of her, that I shall be 
well pleased to attend to this injunction. 

From Miss F. Burney to Dr. Burney 

Bath, June 9, 1780. 

My dearest Sir — How are you ? where are 
you ? and what is to come next ? These are the 
questions I am dying with anxiety to have daily 
announced. The accounts from town are so 
frightful, that I am uneasy, not only for the city 
at large, but for every individual I know in it. I 
hope to Heaven that ere you receive this, all will 
be once more quiet ; but till we hear that it is so, 
I cannot be a moment in peace. 

Does this martial law confine you quite to the 
house ? Folks here say that it must, and that no 


business of any kind can be transacted. Oh, what 
dreadful times ! Yet I rejoice extremely that the 
opposition members have fared little better than 
the ministerial. Had such a mob been confirmed 
friends of either or of any party, I think the 
nation must have been at their disposal ; for, if 
headed by popular or skilful leaders, who and 
what could have resisted them ? — I mean, if they 
are as formidable as we are here told. 

Dr. Johnson has written to Mrs. Thrale, with- 
out even mentioning the existence of this mob ; 
perhaps at this very moment he thinks it "a 
humbug upon the nation," as George Bodens called 
the parliament. 

A private letter to Bull, 1 the bookseller, brought 
word this morning that much slaughter has been 
made by the military among the mob. Never, I 
am sure, can any set of wretches less deserve 
quarter or pity ; yet it is impossible not to shudder 
at hearing of their destruction. Nothing less, 
however, would do ; they were too outrageous 
and powerful for civil power. 

But what is it they want ? who is going to turn 
papist? who, indeed, is thinking in an alarming 
way of religion — this pious mob, and George 
Gordon excepted ? 

I am very anxious indeed about our dear Etty. 
Such disturbance in her neighbourhood I fear 
must have greatly terrified her ; and I am sure 
she is not in a situation or state of health to 
bear terror. I have written and begged to hear 
from her. 

All the stage-coaches that come into Bath from 
London are chalked over with " No Popery," and 
Dr. Harrington called here just now, and says the 

1 Bull's Library was on the Parade. Peach, Historic Houses in Bath, 
1884, ii. 98, says he succeeded to Frederick, and Richardson's brother-in- 
law, James Leake. 


same was chalked this morning upon his door, 
and is scrawled in several places about the town. 
Wagers have been laid that the popish chapel here 
will be pulled or burnt down in a few days ; but I 
believe not a word of the matter, nor do I find 
that anybody is at all alarmed. Bath, indeed, 
ought to be held sacred as a sanctuary for invalids ; 
and I doubt not but the news of the firing in town 
will prevent all tumults out of it. 

Now, if, after all the intolerable provocation 
given by the mob, after all the leniency and 
forbearance of the ministry, and after the shrinking 
of the minority, we shall by and by hear that this 
firing was a massacre — will it not be villainous and 
horrible ? And yet as soon as safety is secured 
— though by this means alone all now agree it 
can be secured — nothing would less surprise me 
than to hear the seekers of popularity make this 

Will you, dear sir, beg Charlotte to answer 
this letter by your directions, and tell me how the 
world goes ? We are sure here of hearing too 
much or too little. Mr. Grenville says he knows 
not whether anything can be done to Lord George ; 
and that quite shocks me, as it is certain that, in 
all equity and common sense, he is either mad 
enough for Moorflelds, or wicked enough for the 
Tower, and, therefore, that to one of these places 
he ought to go. 

Friday night. — The above I writ this morning, 
before I recollected this was not post-day, and all 
is altered here since. The threats I despised were 
but too well grounded, for, to our utter amazement 
and consternation, the new Roman Catholic chapel 
in this town was set on fire at about nine o'clock. 
It is now burning with a fury that is dreadful, and 
the house of the priest belonging to it is in flames 
also. The poor persecuted man himself has, I 


believe, escaped with life, though pelted, followed, 
and very ill-used. Mrs. Thrale and I have been 
walking about with the footmen several times. 
The whole town is still and orderly. The rioters 
do their work with great composure, and though 
there are knots of people in every corner, all 
execrating the authors of such outrages, nobody 
dares oppose them. An attempt, indeed, was 
made, but it was ill-conducted, faintly followed, 
and soon put an end to by a secret fear of exciting 

Alas ! to what have we all lived ! — the poor 
invalids here will probably lose all chance of life, 
from terror. Mr. Hay, our apothecary, has been 
attending the removal of two, who were confined 
to their beds in the street where the chapel is 
burning. The Catholics throughout the place are 
all threatened with destruction, and we met several 
porters, between ten and eleven at night, privately 
removing goods, walking on tiptoe, and scarcely 

I firmly believe, by the deliberate villainy with 
which this riot is conducted, that it will go on in 
the same desperate way as in town, and only be 
stopped by the same desperate means. Our plan 
for going to Bristol is at an end. We are told it 
would be madness, as there are seven Romish 
chapels in it ; but we are determined upon 
removing somewhere to-morrow ; for why should 
we, who can go, stay to witness such horrid 
scenes ? 

Saturday afternoon, June 10. — I was most 
cruelly disappointed in not having one word to- 
day. I am half crazy with doubt and disturbance 
in not hearing. Everybody here is terrified to 
death. We have intelligence that Mr. Thrale's 
house in town 1 is filled with soldiers, and 

1 See ante, p. 421. 


threatened by the mob with destruction. Perhaps 
he may himself be a marked man for their fury. 
We are going directly from Bath, and intend to 
stop only at villages. To-night we shall stop at 
Warminster, not daring to go to Devizes. This 
place is now well guarded, but still we dare not 
await the event of to-night ; all the Catholics in 
the town have privately escaped. 

I know not now when I shall hear from you. 
I am in agony for news. Our headquarters will 
be Brighthelmstone, 1 where I do most humbly 
and fervently entreat you to write — do, dearest 
sir, write, if but one word — if but only you name 
yourself ! Nothing but your own hand can now 
tranquillise me. The reports about London here 
quite distract me. If it were possible to send me 
a line by the diligence to Brighton, 1 how grateful 
I should be for such an indulgence ! I should 
then find it there upon our arrival. Charlotte, I 
am sure, will make it into a sham parcel, and 
Susy will write for you all but the name. God 
bless — defend — preserve you ! my dearest father. 
Life is no life to me while I fear for your 

God bless and save you all ! I shall write 
to-morrow from wherever we may be, — nay, 
every day I shall write, for you will all soon be as 
anxious for news from the country as I have been 
for it from town. Some infamous villain has put 
it into the paper here that Mr. Thrale is a papist. 
This, I suppose, is an Hothamite 2 report, to inflame 
his constituents. 

1 Miss Burney, it will be seen, uses both names. • 

2 Sir Richard Hotham, by whom Mr. Thrale was defeated at South- 
wark in the following September. " Mr. Thrale 's loss of health has lost 
him the election," wrote Johnson on October 17 (Hill's Boswell, 1887, iii. 

Miss F. Burney to Dr. Burney 

Salisbury, June 11, 1780. 

Here we are, dearest sir, and here we mean to 
pass this night. 

We did not leave Bath till eight o'clock 
yesterday evening, at which time it was filled 
with dragoons, militia, and armed constables, not 
armed with muskets, but bludgeons : these latter 
were all chairmen, who were sworn by the mayor 
in the morning for petty constables. A popish 
private chapel, and the houses of all the Catholics, 
were guarded between seven and eight, and the 
inhabitants ordered to keep house. 

We set out in the coach-and-four, with two men 
on horseback, and got to Warminster, a small town 
in Somersetshire, a little before twelve. 1 

This morning two more servants came after us 
from Bath, and brought us word that the pre- 
cautions taken by the magistrates last night had 
had good success, for no attempt of any sort had 
been renewed towards a riot. 

But the happiest tidings to me were contained 
in a letter which they brought, which had arrived 
after our departure, by the diligence, from Mr. 
Perkins, with an account that all was quiet in 
London, and that Lord G. Gordon was sent to 
the Tower. 

I am now again tolerably easy, but I shall not 
be really comfortable, or free from some fears, till 
I hear from St. Martin's Street. 

The Borough House has been quite preserved. 2 
I know not how long we may be on the road, but 
nowhere long enough for receiving a letter till we 
come to Brighthelmstone. 

We stopped in our way at Wilton, and spent 
half the day at that beautiful place. 

1 See ante, p. 426. 2 See ante, p. 421. 


Just before we arrived there, Lord Arundel had 
sent to the officers in the place, to entreat a party 
of guards immediately, for the safety of his house, 
as he had intelligence that a mob was on the road 
from London to attack it : — he is a Catholic. His 
request was immediately complied with. 

We intended to have gone to a private town, 
but find all quiet here, 1 and, therefore, prefer it as 
much more commodious. There is no Romish 
chapel in the town ; mass has always been per- 
formed for the Catholics of the place at a Mrs. 
Arundel's in the Close — a relation of his lordship's, 
whose house is fifteen miles off. I have inquired 
about the Harris's ; 2 I find they are here and all 

Peace now, I trust, will be restored to the 
nation — at least as soon as some of the desperate 
gang that may escape from London in order to 
spread confusion in the country, are dispersed or 

I will continue to write while matters are in this 
doubtful state, that you may have no anxiety added 
to the great stock you must suffer upon my account. 

We are all quite well, and when I can once hear 
you are so, I shall be happy. 

Adieu, most dear sir ! Love, duty, and com- 
pliments to all from your most dutiful and most 
affectionate, F. B. 

Dr. Burney to Miss F. Burney 

1 St. Martin's Street, Monday Afternoon. 
Your letter just received. 

My dear Fanny — We are all safe and well, 
after our heartaches and terrors. London is now 
the most secure residence in the kingdom. 

1 i.e. at Salisbury. 
The family of James Harris, who lived at Salisbury. See ante, p. 86. 


I wrote a long letter to our dear Mrs. T. on 
Friday night, with a kind of detail of the week's 
transactions. I am now obliged to go out, and 
shall leave the girls to fill up the rest of the sheet. 
All is safe and quiet in the Borough. We sent 
William l thither on Saturday. God bless you ! 
All affection and good wishes attend our dear 

I said that riot would go into the country, like 
a new cap, till it was discountenanced and out of 
fashion in the metropolis. I bless every soldier I 
see — we have no dependence on any defence from 
outrage but the military. 

Miss Charlotte Burney to Miss F. Burney 

I am very sorry, my dear Fanny, to hear how 
much you have suffered from your apprehension 
about us. Susan will tell you why none of us 
wrote before Friday ; and she says she has told 
you what dreadful havoc and devastation the mob 
have made here in all parts of the town. How- 
ever, we are pretty quiet and tranquil again now. 
Papa goes on with his business pretty much as 
usual, and so far from the military keeping people 
within doors (as you say, in your letter to my 
father, you suppose to be the case) the streets 
were never more crowded — everybody is wander- 
ing about in order to see the ruins of the places 
that the mob have destroyed. 

There are two camps, one in St. James's, and 
the other in Hyde Park, which, together with the 
military law, makes almost every one here think 
he is safe again. I expect we shall all have " a 
passion for a scarlet coat " now. 

I hardly know what to tell you that won't be 
stale news. They say that duplicates of the hand- 

1 The St. Martin's Street servant. See ante, p. 32. 


bill that I have enclosed were distributed all over 
the town on Wednesday and Thursday last ; how- 
ever, thank Heaven, everybody says now that Mr. 
Thrale's house and brewery are as safe as we can 
wish them. There was a brewer in Turnstile that 
had his house gutted and burnt, because, the mob 
said, " he was a popish, and sold popish beer." 
Did you ever hear of such diabolical ruffians ? 

Sister Hetty is vastly well, and has received 
your letter ; I think she has stood the fright better, 
and been a greater heroine, than any of us. 

To add to the pleasantness of our situation, 
there have been gangs of women going about to 
rob and plunder. Miss Kirwans 1 went on Friday 
afternoon to walk in the Museum gardens, and 
were stopped by a set of women, and robbed of 
all the money they had. The mob had proscribed 
the mews, for they said, "The king should not 
have a horse to ride upon ! " They besieged the 
new Somerset House, with intention to destroy it, 
but were repulsed by some soldiers placed there 
for that purpose. 

Mr. Sleepe has been here a day or two, and 
says the folks at Watford, where he comes from, 
" approve very much of having the Catholic chapels 
destroyed, for they say it's a shame the pope should 
come here ! " There is a house hereabouts that 
they had chalked upon last week, "Empty, and 
No Popery ! " 

I am heartily rejoiced, my dearest Fanny, that 
you have got away from Bath, and hope and trust 
that at Brighthelmstone you will be as safe as we 
are here. 

It sounds almost incredible, but they say, that 
on Wednesday night last, 2 when the mob were 

1 These were friends of the Burney household, of whom, beyond the 
fact, that they were " sweet girls," nothing is known. 

2 " I assure your Ladyship there is no panic. Lady Aylesbury has 


more powerful, more numerous, and outrageous 
than ever, there was, nevertheless, a number of 
exceedingly genteel people at Ranelagh, though 
they knew not but their houses might be on fire 
at the time ! 

God bless you, my dear Fanny, — for Heaven's 
sake keep up your spirits ! — Yours ever, with 
the greatest affection, 

Charlotte Ann Burney. 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 

Brighton, Thursday Evening, June 29, 1780. 

Streatham detained me so scandalously late that 
I never entered Ryegate till 12 o'clock — you know 
we had calculated for 11. I had, however, the 
satisfaction of leaving Presto 1 in the arms of a 
mistress he preferred to me, and he found love an 
ample recompense for the loss of friendship. All 
dogs do, I suppose ! 

At 10 o'clock I saw myself here, and quitted 
my very riotous companions, to look for their 
father and sister, who were walking with Miss 
Owen to the Point. The evening was spent in 
chat, and this morning I carried a bunch of grapes 
to Mr. S erase, 2 who was too ill to swallow one, or 
to see even me. My master, however, is quite in 
rosy health — he is, indeed — and jokes Peggy Owen 
for her want of power to flash. He made many 
inquiries for you ; and was not displeased that I 

been at the play in the Haymarket, and the Duke [of Gloucester] and my 
four nieces at Ranelagh this evening " ( Wednesday night, past two in 
the morning , June 7, 1780 — Walpole to Lady Ossory). 

1 Mrs. f hrale's dog. See ante, p. 120. 

2 Mrs. Thrale's Mr. Crisp. " Dear Mr. Scrase was an old gouty 
solicitor, retired from business, friend and contemporary of my husband's 
father" (Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale), 1861, ii. 27). Mr. 
Richard Scrase lived in the Manor House (site of the Royal York Hotel) 
on the Steine. He had helped the Thrales in their distresses of 1771-72 
(see ante, p. 159), and their residence in Brighton was probably due to 
him (Bishop 's Brighton in the Olden Time, 1892, p. 147). 


had given Perkins two hundred guineas instead of 
one 1 — a secret I never durst tell before, not even 
to Johnson, not even to you — but so it was. 

I have no society here, so I might go to work 
like you, if I had any materials. Susan and Sophy 
have taken to writing verses — 'tis the fashion of 
the school they say, and Sophy's are the best 
performances of all the misses, except one monkey 
of eighteen years old. 

Harry C is here, and with him a Mr. S , 

two poor empty, unmeaning lads from town, who 
talk of a man being a high treat, etc. They are, I 
think, the first companions I ever picked up and 
dismissed, as fairly worse than none. 

Ah, my sweet girl ! all this stuff written, and 
not one word of the loss I feel in your leaving me ! 
But, upon my honour, I forbear only to save your 
fretting, for I do think you would vex if you saw 
how silly I looked about for you ever since I came 
home. I shall now say, as Johnson does, " Ah, 
Burney ! if you loved me, etc. etc." But no more 
of what must be missed and must not be mourned. 
—Yours, H. L. T. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

Saturday, July 1, 1780. 

Have you no " quality " yet, my dearest madam, 
that letters are three days upon the road ! I have 
only this instant received yours, though you were 
so kindly indulgent to my request of writing the 
next day after your journey. I rejoice, indeed, 
that you found my master so well. I daresay 
Queeny had kept him sharp. What does he think 
of Dr. Johnson's dieting scheme ? I must confess 
that if, like Mrs. Tattersall, he should consent to 

1 Mr. Perkins, Thrale's superintendent, had been instrumental in saving 
the Southwark or Borough House from the Gordon rioters. 


adopt the vegetable system, I should be as unwill- 
ing as her husband to be a good beefsteak in his 
way ! 

Your liberality to Perkins charms me ; and so 
does Mr. Thrale's approbation of it ; for his being 
not displeased implies nothing short of approbation. 
I am sorry for Miss Owen, 1 but I much hope you 
will be able to revive and comfort her : sure I am 
that if spirit can reanimate, or sweetness can soothe 
her, she will not be long in so forlorn a way. 

Your account of Miss M 's being taken in, 

and taken in by Captain B , 2 astonishes me ! 

surely not half we have heard either of her adorers, 
or her talents, can have been true. Mrs. Byron 
has lost too little to have anything to lament, 
except, indeed, the time she sacrificed to foolish 
conversation, and the civilities she threw away 
upon so worthless a subject. Augusta has nothing 
to reproach herself with, and riches and wisdom 
must be rare indeed, if she fares not as well with 
respect to both, as she would have done with an 
adventurer whose pocket, it seems, was as empty 
as his head. 

Nothing here is talked of but the trial of the 
rioters : most people among those who are able 
to appear as witnesses, are so fearful of incurring 
the future resentment of the mob, that evidence 
is very difficult to be obtained, even where guilt 
is undoubted : by this means numbers are daily 
discharged who have offended against all laws, 
though they can be punished by none. I am glad, 
however, to see the moderation of those who might 
now, perhaps, extirpate all power but their own ; 
for neither art nor authority is used to blacken 
the crimes of the accused, or force into light 

1 See ante, p. 431. Miss Owen is mentioned as visiting with Mrs. 
Thrale at St. Martin's Street in 1777 (Early Diary, 1889, ii. 153). 

a Brisbane, no doubt, from the subsequent references to Augusta 
Byron (see ante, p. 408). 

VOL. I 2f 


the designs of the suspected. Nothing has yet 
appeared that indicates any plot, except for general 
plunder, nor have any of the conspirators, who 
have yet been examined, seemed to have con- 
federated for any deeper purpose than to drink 
hard, shout loud, and make their betters houseless 
as themselves. 

I have seen Pacchierotti, and he has sung to me 
as sweetly, and complimented me as liberally, as 
ears the most fastidious, and a mind the most vain, 
could desire ; yet not the less have I thought of or 
regretted my ever dear, ever kind, and most sweet 
Mrs. Thrale ! But, as I am come, after many 
absences, to a family so deservedly beloved by me, 
I am determined neither to sour my friends nor 
myself, by encouraging a repining spirit, but now 
to be happy as I can with them, and hope, ere 
long, to be again so with you ; for, with affection 
more sincere, and a heart more true, nobody can 
love my dear Mrs. Thrale more fervently and 
faithfully than her ever devoted F. Burney. 1 

My love and duty to my master : and love, 
without the duty, to Miss Thrale ; and my best 
compliments to Miss Owen. 

We shall go to Chessington as soon as the trials 
are over and the town is quiet. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

Saturday, July 8, 1780. 

See but, dearest madam, my prompt obedience, 
by this brown and rough-edged mark of it. Your 
sweet letter I have but this moment received, so I 

1 This is a mild example of what, in Humphry Clinker, Landor called the 
fashionable "rigmarole." " By rigmarole I mean such a termination as 
this : — ' It had like to have kindled the flames of discord in the family of 
yours always, etc.'" (Forster's Walter Savage Landor, 1876, p. 499). 
The passed master of this valuable art was Wilkins Micawber. 


think the quality use you very ill, or rather me, 
for I have made a wry face at the postman's 
knock, without a letter from Brighton, this day 
or two. 

You give me nothing but good news about my 
master, and that delights me very sincerely ; but I 
can see that you are not quite comfortable yourself. 
Why have you this cold and headache ? Have 
you gone imprudently into the sea — I mean with- 
out taking counsel with nurse Tibson ? You know 
we long since settled, that whenever you were ill 
all your friends would impute it to bathing ; so this 
doubt will not surprise, though ten to one but it 
provokes you. 

I have not seen Dr. Johnson since the day you 
left me, when he came hither, and met Mrs. Ord, 
Mr. Hoole, 1 Mrs. Reynolds, Baretti, the Paradises, 
Pepys, Castles, Dr. Dunbar, and some others ; and 
then he was in high spirits and good humour, talked 
all the talk, affronted nobody, and delighted every- 
body. I never saw him more sweet, nor better 
attended to by his audience. I have not been able 
to wait upon him since, nor, indeed, upon anybody, 
for we have not spent one evening alone since my 

Pacchierotti left London yesterday morning. 
We all miss him much, myself particularly, because, 
for all Dr. Johnson, he is not only the first, most 
finished, and most delightful of singers, but an 
amiable, rational, and intelligent creature, who has 
given to himself a literary education, and who has 
not only a mind superior to his own profession, 
which he never names but with regret, in spite of 
the excellence to which he has risen, but he has 
also, I will venture to say, talents and an under- 
standing that would have fitted him for almost any 

1 John Hoole, 1727-1803, at this date the translator of Tasso's Jerusalem 
Delivered, 1763, but not yet of Ariosto. He was a friend of Johnson. 


other, had they, instead of being crushed under 
every possible disadvantage, been encouraged and 
improved. Had you seen as much of him as I have 
done, I think, in defiance of prejudice, you would 
be of the same opinion. 

I am quite disappointed with respect to Miss 
Owen. I had hoped she would have been more 
comfortable to you. Mr. S erase, too ! — indeed your 
account of your society grieves me. Sickness, 
spleen, or folly seem to compose it ; and if you, who 
have so much facility in making new acquaintance, 
find them so insupportable, it is, I am sure, that 
they must be impenetrable blockheads ! 

Sir John Bounce's * apology for not having 
signalised himself more gloriously in public life, 
made me laugh very heartily. Do you hear any- 
thing of my general, his case, or his monkey, or the 
lost calves of his legs ? 2 As one of your true 
ancient swaggerers, Brighthelmstone seems to have 
a fair and natural right to him. 

Mrs. Montagu has been in town. I heard this 
from Mrs. Ord, who had an appointment to meet 
her at her new house, and was invited to a con- 
versazione with her at Mr. Pepys'. 

I have no private intelligence to give about the 
rioters, or Lord George, save that I am informed 
he is certainly to be tried for high treason, not for 
a misdemeanour. Are you not rejoiced at the 
sequel of good news from America ? 

The soldiers are drawn off gently, but daily, 
from all parts of the metropolis. The camps in 
the parks are, however, expected to remain all 
summer. Poor Captain Clerke is dead ! I was 
willing to doubt it as long as possible, but it has 
been confirmed to my father by Lord Sandwich. 

We have no consolation from Admiral Jem's 

1 Query — Sir John Shelley. See ante, p. 287. 
2 See ante, p. 300, et seq. 


promotion, for the first -lieutenant of the late 
Captain Cook's ship has succeeded to the command 
of Captain Clerke's. 1 Is it not a melancholy cir- 
cumstance that both the captains of this expedition 
should perish ere it is completed ? Lord Sand- 
wich told my father that the journal of Captain 
Cook is arrived, and now in the hands of the king, 
who has desired to have the first perusal of it. 
I am very impatient to know something of its con- 
tents. The ships are both expected almost daily. 
They have already been out a year longer than was 
intended. Mr. Jem has not written one line. 
Don't you think my master will allow him to be a 
man of sense, and take to him ? 

Adieu, my dearest madam ! I hope I have used 
you ill enough, with regard to paper, to satisfy your 
desire, and convince you of the true affection of 
your faithful and much obliged F. B. 

My best respects to Mr. and Miss Thrale. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

Nobody does write such sweet letters as my 
dear Mrs. Thrale, and I would sooner give up a 
month's allowance of meat, than my week's allow- 
ance of an epistle. 

The report of the Parliament's dissolution I hope 
is premature. I inquire of everybody I see about 
it, and always hear that it is expected now to last 
almost as long as it can last. Why, indeed, should 
government wish to dissolve it, when they meet 
with no opposition from it ? 

Since I wrote last I have drunk tea with Dr. 
Johnson. My father took me to Bolt Court, and 
we found him, most fortunately, with only one 

1 See ante, p. 317. 


brass-headed cane gentleman. Since that, I have 
had the pleasure to meet him again at Mrs. 
Reynolds's, when he offered to take me with him 
to Grub Street, to see the ruins of the house 
demolished there in the late riots, by a mob that, 
as he observed, could be no friend to the Muses ! 
He inquired if I had ever yet visited Grub Street ? 
but was obliged to restrain his anger when I 
answered " No," because he acknowledged he had 
never paid his respects to it himself. 1 " However," 
says he, " you and I, Burney, will go together ; we 
have a very good right to go, so we'll visit the 
mansions of our progenitors, and take up our own 
freedom together." 

There's for you, madam ! What can be grander ? 
The loss of Timoleon 2 is really terrible ; yet, as it 
is an incident that will probably dwell no little 
time upon the author's mind, who knows but it 
may be productive of another tragedy, in which a 
dearth of story will not merely be no fault of his, 
but no misfortune ? 

I have no intelligence to give about the Dean 
of Coleraine, but that we are now in daily expecta- 
tion of hearing of his arrival. 

Yesterday I drank tea at Sir Joshua's, and met 
by accident with Mrs. Cholmondeley ; I was very 
glad to find that her spirits are uninjured by her 
misfortunes ; she was as gay, flighty, entertaining 
and frisky as ever. Her sposo is not confined, as 
was said ; he is only gone upon his travels : she 
seems to bear his absence with remarkable forti- 
tude. After all, there is something in her very 
attractive ; her conversation is so spirited, so 

1 And this notwithstanding that he had defined it memorably in the 
Dictionary : — " Originally the name of a street near Moorfields in London, 
much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary 
poems ; whence any mean production is called grubstreet. " Nor does it 
appear that he ever went there afterwards, though in 1783 he proposed to 
Hoole to " eat a beefsteak in Grub Street." 

2 See ante, p. 361. 


humorous, so enlivening, that she does not suffer 
one's attention to rest, much less to flag, for hours 

Sir Joshua told me he was now at work upon 
your pictures, touching them up for Streatham, and 
that he has already ordered the frames, and shall 
have them quite ready whenever the house is in 
order for them. 

I also met at his house Mr. W. Burke, 1 and 
young Burke, the orator's son, who is made much- 
ado about, but I saw not enough of him to know 
why. 2 

We are all here very truly concerned for Mr. 
Chamier, who you know is a very great favourite 
among us. He is very ill, and thinks himself in 
a decline. He is now at Bath, and writes my 
father word he has made up his mind, come what 
may. 3 

Your good news of my master glads me, how- 
ever, beyond what good news of almost any other 
man in the world could do. Pray give him my 
best respects, and beg him not to forget me so 
much as to look strange upon me when we next 
meet ; if he does it won't be fair, for I feel that I 
shall look very kind upon him. 

I fancy Miss Thrale is quite too difficult ; why, 
bless me, by " something happening " I never 
meant to wait for a murder, nor a wedding, no nor 
an invasion, nor an insurrection ; any other bore 
will do as well. My father charges me to give you 
his kindest love, and not daintify his affection into 
respects or compliments. 

Adieu, dearest madam, and from me accept not 
only love, and not only respects, but both, and 
gratitude, and warmest wishes, and constancy 
invariable into the bargain. F. Burney. 

1 Burke's kinsman, M.P. for Bedwin, Wiltshire. 
2 See post, p. 441. 3 Mr. Chamier died October 12, 1780. 


I am very glad Mr. Tidy is so good. Thank 
him for me, and tell him I am glad he keeps my 
place open ; and pray give Dr. Delap my compli- 
ments. Has he settled yet how he shall dress the 
candle snuffers the first night ? I would by no 
means have the minutest directions omitted. 

From Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 

Brighthelmstone, Wednesday, July 19, 1780. 

And so my letters please you, do they, my 
sweet Burney ? I know yours are the most enter- 
taining things that cross me in the course of the 
whole week ; and a miserable praise too, if you 
could figure to yourself my most dull companions. 
I write now from Bowen's shop, 1 where he has 
been settled about three days I think ; and here 
comes in one man hopping, and asks for Russell 
on Sea-water 2 — another tripping, and begs to have 
the last new novel sent him home to-night ; one 
lady tumbles the ballads about, and fingers the 
harpsichord which stands here at every blockhead's 
mercy ; and another looks over the lilliputian 
library, and purchases Polly Sugar cake for her 
long-legged missey. 

My master is gone out riding, and we are to 
drink tea with Lady Rothes ; after which the 
Steyne hours begin, and we cluster round Thomas's 
shop, 3 and contend for the attention of Lord John 
Clinton, a man who could, I think, be of conse- 
quence in no other place upon earth, though a 
very well - informed and modest - mannered boy. 
Dr. Pepys is resolutely and profoundly silent ; and 
Lady Shelley, 4 having heard wits commended, has 

1 See ante, p. 281. 

2 Dr. Richard Russell, 1687-1759, a great Brighton notability. His 
Dissertation on the Use of Sea Water, etc., was published in 1750. 

3 See ante, p. 281. 4 See ante, p. 287. 


taken up a new character, and says not only the 
severest but the cruellest things you ever heard in 

your life. Here is a Mrs. K , too, sister to the 

Duchess of M , who is very uncompanionable 

indeed, and talks of 7 T ^wbridge. These, however, 
are literally all the people we ever speak to — oh 
yes, the Drummonds — but they are scarce blest 
with utterance. 

Mr. Scrase mends, and I spent an hour with 
him to-day. Now have I fairly done with Bright- 
helmstone, and will congratulate myself on being 
quite of your advice — as Pacchierotti would call it 
— concerning Burke, the minor, whom I once met 
and could make nothing of. 

Poor Mr. Chamier ! and poor Dr. Burney, too ! 
The loss of real friends after a certain time of life 
is a terrible thing, let Dr. Johnson say what he 
will. Those who are first called do not get first 
home. I remember Chamier lamenting for Mr. 
Thrale, who will now, I verily think, live to see 
many of those go before him who expected to stay 
long after. He will not surely look strange upon 
you, for he is glad to see your letters ; though he 
does not sigh over them so dismally as he did 
yesterday, over one he saw I had directed to 

Lord George Gordon is to be liberated upon 
bail, his quality brethren tell me. To this, I think, 
contrary to the general disposition of the people, 
who appear to wish his punishment. But the 
thunder-cloud always moves against the wind, you 

The going to Grub Street would have been a 
pretty exploit. Are you continuing to qualify 
yourself for an inhabitant ? 

Sweet Mrs. Cholmondeley ! I am glad she 
can frolic and frisk so : — the time will come too 
soon, that will, as Grumio expresses it, : tame 


man, woman, and beast," — and thyself, fellow 
Curtis. 1 

The players this year are rather better than the 
last ; but the theatre is no bigger than a band-box, 
which is a proper precaution, I think, as here are 
not folks to fill even that. The shops are almost 
all shut still, and a dearth of money complained 
of that is lamentable ; but we have taken some 
Spanish ships, it seems, and La Vera Cruz besides. 

Adieu, — and divide my truest kindness among 
all the dear Newtonians, 2 and keep yourself a large 
share. You are in no danger of invaders from the 
sea-coast. Susan and Sophy bathe and grow, and 
riot me out of my senses. I am ever, my dear 
girl, most faithfully yours, H. L. T. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

August 16. 

I return you my most hearty thanks, my dear 
madam, for your last most comfortable tidings, 
which, as they have removed all my fears, shall, 
for the present, banish their subject. I will never 
be melancholic, even though it were recommended 
to be lady as well as " gentlemanlike," but when 
perforce I cannot help it ; for in good truth that 
method of varying the mode of existence offers 
itself with so kind a readiness of its own accord, 
that a very little patience, and a very little feeling, 
will bring in supplies, fresh and fresh, of that sort 
of food, which, with a very moderate economy of 
anxiety, will lay by for croaking moments stores 
inexhaustible. Indeed, though I have so often 
heard lamentations of the scarcity of every other 

1 Taming of the Shrew, Act. IV. Sc. i. — a variation of Grumio's words to 
his fellow-servant, Curtis. 

2 Dr. Burney, it will be remembered, was at this time residing in 
Newton's old house (see ante, p. 102). 


commodity, useful or ornamental, intellectual or 
sensual, I never once, even from the most greedy 
devourer of sadness, have heard the remotest hint, 
that de quoi manger was in danger of being wanted 
for the gluttons of evil and misery ; for though 
eating but makes their appetite the stronger, their 
materials are as little diminished by voracity as 
their hunger. 

Well — mal a propos to all this, — Dr. Johnson, 
who expects nothing but what is good, and 
swallows nothing but what he likes, has delighted 
me with another volume of his Lives, — that which 
contains Blackmore, Congreve, etc., which he tells 
me you have had. 1 Oh what a writer he is ! what 
instruction, spirit, intelligence, and vigour in almost 
every paragraph ! Addison I think equal to any in 
the former batch ; but he is rather too hard upon 
Prior, and makes Gay, I think, too insignificant. 
Some of the little poems of Prior seem to me as 
charming as any little poems can be; and Gay's 
pastorals I had hoped to have seen praised more 

At length, I have seen the S. S. She has been 
again in town, and was so good as to make us a 
very long visit. She looked as beautiful as an 
angel, though rather pale, but was in very high 
spirits, and I thought her more attractive and 
engaging than ever. So I believe did my father. — 
Ah! "littel cunning woman," if you were to put 
your wicked scheme in practice, I see how it would 

We are to go to Chessington next week ; so I 
suppose there we shall be when you quit Brighton. 
If so, pray tell my dear master I insist upon his 
keeping his promise of coming thither ; if not, I 

1 Dr. Johnson " dispatched " the life of Congreve between May 9 and 
May 25, 1780. He sent two volumes of the Lives to Mrs. Thrale in July. 
The last six volumes were published in 1781 (Hill's Letters of Johnson, 1892, 
p. 154, 160, and 189). 


won't hold myself in readiness to go to Italy — no, 
not if Farinelli were in his prime. But do come, 
dearest madam, and do make him : you know he 
always does as you bid him, so you have but to 
issue your commands. 'Tis a charming thing to 
keep a husband in such order. A thousand loves 
from all here, but mostly, being spokeswoman, I 
have a right to say that, from yours, 

F. B. 

Journal resumed 

S treat ham, Monday, December 6. — As I am now 
well enough to employ myself my own way, though 
not to go downstairs, I will take this first oppor- 
tunity I have had since my return hither, to write 
again to my dearest Susan. 

Your letters, my love, have been more than 
usually welcome to me of late ; their contents have 
been very entertaining and satisfactory, and their 
arrival has been particularly seasonable ; not on 
account of my illness — that alone never yet lowered 
my spirits as they are now lowered, because I knew 
I must ere long, in all probability, be again well ; 
but oh, Susy ! I am — I have been — and I fear must 
always be, alarmed indeed for Mr. Thrale ; and the 
more I see and know him, the more alarmed, because 
the more I love and dread to lose him. 

I am not much in cue for journalising ; but I 
am yet less inclined for anything else. As writing 
to my own Susy commonly lightens my heart, so 
I'll e'en set about recollecting the good as well as 
bad that has passed since I wrote last ; for else I 
were too selfish. 

I cannot remember where I left off; — but to go 
back to the last few days we spent at Brighthelm- 
stone — I must tell you that on the last Friday — 
but I cannot recollect anecdotes, nor write them if 


I did ; and so I will only draw up an exit for the 
characters to which I had endeavoured to introduce 

Lady Hesketh 1 made us a very long, sociable, 
and friendly visit before our departure, in which 
she appeared to much advantage, with respect to 
conversation, abilities, and good breeding. I saw 
that she became quite enchanted with Mrs. Thrale, 
and she made me talk away with her very copi- 
ously, by looking at me, in a former visit, when 
she was remarking that nothing was so formidable 
as to be in company with silent observers ; where- 
upon I gathered courage, and boldly entered the 
lists ; and her ladyship has inquired my direction 
of Mrs. Thrale, and told her that the acquaintance 
should not drop at Brighton, for she was determined 
to wait upon me in town. 

We saw, latterly, a great deal of the H s. 

The Colonel — for he has given up his majorship in 
the militia, and is raising a company for himself — 
appeared to us just as before, — sensible, good- 
humoured, and pleasant ; and just as before also 
his lady — tittle-tattling, monotonous, and tiresome. 

[They had a Miss Cooke with them, — whom I 
only mention, because her name was also Kitty, 
and because her resemblance to our Kitty did not 
stop there, for she was always gay, and always 
good-humoured. ] 

Lady Shelley 2 was as civil to me as Lady Hes- 
keth. Indeed I have good reason to like Sussex. 
As my cold prevented my waiting upon her with 
Mrs. Thrale, to take leave, she was so good as to 
come to me. I am rather sorry she never comes 
to town, for she is a sweet woman, and very hand- 

[Miss Benson called upon us several times, and 

1 Harriet, Lady Hesketh, 1733-1807, cousin and friend of Cowper. 
2 See ante, p. 440. 


I abide exactly by what I have already said of 

Dr. Delap was with us till the Friday night 
preceding our departure ; he has asked me, in his 
unaccountable way, " If I will make him a dish of 
tea in St. Martin's Street ? " 

We had also made an acquaintance with a Miss 
Stow, that I have never had time to mention : a 
little girl she is, just seven years old, and plays on 
the harpsichord so well, that she made me very 
fond of her. She lived with a mother and aunt, 
neither of whom I liked ; but she expressed so 
much desire to see Dr. Burney, and is so clever, 
and forward, and ingenious a child, that I could 
not forbear giving her my direction in town, which 
she received very gladly, and will, I am sure, find 
me out as soon as she leaves Brighton. 

[Miss Thrale and I paid visits of conge to Mrs. 
Chamier and Miss Emily Jess. 

We went together, also,] to Miss Byron ; but 
she was invisible with this influenza : — the mother, 
however, admitted us, and spent almost the whole 
two hours she kept us in exhorting me most kindly 
to visit her, and promising to introduce me to the 
Admiral, — which I find is a great thing, as he 
always avoids seeing any of her female friends, 
even Mrs. Thrale, from some odd peculiarity of 

On Monday, at our last dinner, we had Mr. 

Tidy, Mr. B , and Mr. S el win ; and in the 

evening came Mrs. Byron. 

Mr. Tidy I liked better and better ; he reminded 
me of Mr. Crisp ; he has not so good a face, but it 
is that sort of face, and his laugh is the very same : 
for it first puts every feature in comical motion, 
and then fairly shakes his whole frame, so that 
there are tokens of thorough enjoyment from head 
to foot. He and I should have been very good 


friends, I am sure, if we had seen much of each 
other ; — as it was, we were both upon the watch, 
drolly enough. 

Mr. B , though, till very lately, I have 

almost lived upon him, I shall not bore you with 
more than naming ; for I find you make no defence 
to my hint of having given you too much of him, 
and I am at least glad you are so sincere. 

And now, my dear Susy, to tragedy — for all 
I have yet writ is farce to what I must now add ; 
but I will be brief, for your sake as well as my own. 

Poor Mr. Thrale had had this vile influenza for 
two days before we set out ; but then seemed 
better. We got on to Crawley all well ; he then 
ordered two of the servants to go on to Reigate 
and prepare dinner : meantime he suffered dread- 
fully from the coldness of the weather ; he shook 
from head to foot, and his teeth chattered aloud 
very frightfully. When we got again into the 
coach, by degrees he grew warm and tolerably 
comfortable ; but when we stopped at Reigate his 
speech grew inarticulate, and he said one word for 
another. I hoped it was accident, and Mrs. Thrale, 
by some strange infatuation, thought he was joking, 
— but Miss Thrale saw how it was from the first. 

By very cruel ill-luck, too tedious to relate, his 
precaution proved useless ; for we had not only no 
dinner ready, but no fire, and were shown into a 
large and comfortless room. The town is filled 
with militia. Here the cold returned dreadfully, — 
and here, in short, it was but too plain to all, his 
faculties were lost by it. Poor Mrs. Thrale worked 
like a servant : she lighted the fire with her own 
hands, — took the bellows, and made such a one as 
might have roasted an ox in ten minutes. But I 
will not dwell on particulars : — after dinner Mr. 
Thrale grew better ; and for the rest of our journey 
was sleepy and mostly silent. 



It was late in the night when we got to Streatham. 
Mrs. Thrale consulted me what to do : — I was for 
a physician immediately ; but Miss Thrale opposed 
that, thinking it would do harm to alarm her father 
by such a step. However, Mrs. Thrale ordered 
the butler to set off by six the next morning for 
Dr. Heberden and Mr. Seward. 

The next morning, however, he was greatly 
better, and when they arrived he was very angry ; 
but I am sure it was right. Dr. Heberden ordered 
nothing but cupping. Mr. Seward was very good 
and friendly, and spent five days here, during all 
which Mr. Thrale grew better. Dr. Johnson, you 
know, came with my dear father the Thursday 
after our return. 

You cannot, I think, have been surprised that 
I gave up my plan of going to town immediately : 
indeed I had no heart to leave either Mr. Thrale in 
a state so precarious, or his dear wife in an agitation 
of mind hardly short of a fever. 

Things now went on tolerably smooth, and Miss 
Thrale and I renewed our Latin exercises with Dr. 
Johnson, and with great eclat of praise. At another 
time I could have written much of him and of Mr. 
Seward, for many very good conversations past ; 
but now I have almost forgot all about them. 

The Tuesday following I received your kind 
letter, and instances to return on Thursday with 
my father, — but I determined to take no measures 
either way till I saw how matters went at the last. 

The next day I was far from well, as my dear 
father must have told you, — and I got worse and 
worse, and I could not go down to dinner ; but in 
the evening, being rather better, I just popt down 
to play one rubber with dear Mr. Thrale, whose 
health I have truly at heart, and who is only to be 
kept from a heavy and profound sleep by cards : 
and then I was glad to come back, being again 


worse : — but let me add, I had insisted on perform- 
ing this feat. 

I had a miserable night, — I kept my bed all day, 
and my ever sweet Mrs. Thrale nursed me most 
tenderly, letting me take nothing but from herself. 

I will say no more about the illness, but that it 
was short, though rather violent. On Saturday, as 
I got into Mrs. Thrale's dressing-room to dinner, 
Dr. Johnson visited me. On Sunday, Mr. Murphy 
came to dinner ; and in the evening begged that he 
might be admitted to ask me how I did. I was 
rather bundled up, to be sure, with cloaks, etc., 
but could not well refuse ; so he and Mr. Thrale, 
lady and daughter, all came together. 

He appeared in high flash ; took my hand, and 
insisted on kissing it ; and then he entered into a 
mighty gay, lively, droll, and agreeable conversa- 
tion, — running on in flighty compliments, highly 
seasoned with wit, till he diverted and put us all 
into spirits. But Mrs. Thrale, who was fearful I 
should be fatigued, found no little difficulty to get 
him away ; he vowed he would not go, — said she 
might, and all of them, but for his part, he desired 
not to budge, — and, at last, when by repeated 
remonstrances he was made retreat, he vowed he 
would come again. 

As soon as their tea was over below stairs, Dr. 
Johnson came to make me a visit, and while he 
was with me, I heard Mr. Murphy's step about the 
adjoining rooms, not knowing well his way ; and 
soon after in he bolted, crying out, " They would 
fain have stopped me, but here I am ! " 

However, I have no time to write what passed, 
except that he vowed when he came next he would 
read the rest of my play. However, I shall bring 
it with me to town, and hide it. 

The next day, Monday, he left us ; and Lady 
Ladd came. She sat upstairs with me the whole 
vol. i 2 G 


morning, and she has been saying such shocking 
things of her apprehensions for my dear Mr. Thrale, 
that they have quite overset me, being already 
weaker by the fever : and just now, unluckily, Mrs. 
Thrale came in suddenly, and found me in so low- 
spirited a situation that she insisted on knowing the 
cause. I could not tell her, but hinted that Lady 
L., who was just gone down, had been talking 
dismally, and she immediately concluded it was 
concerning Sir John. I am sure she wondered at 
my prodigious susceptibility, as she well might ; 
but I preferred passing for half an idiot to telling 
her what I cannot even tell you of Lady L.'s 
shocking and terrifying speeches. 

Miss F. Burney to Dr. Burney 

Streatham, Saturday Morning, 2 o'clock. 

My dearest Sir — We have this moment 
finished the Critic} I have been extremely well 
entertained with it indeed. The first act seems as 
full of wit, satire, and spirit as it is of lines. For 
the rest, I have not sufficiently attended to the 
plays of these degenerate days to half enjoy or 
understand the censure or ridicule meant to be 
lavished on them. However, I could take in 
enough to be greatly diverted at the flighty 
absurdities, so well, though so severely pointed 

Our dear master came home to-day quite as 
well as you saw him yesterday. He is in good 
spirits and good humour, but I think he looks 
sadly. So does our Mrs. T., who agitates herself 
into an almost perpetual fever. 

Adieu, my dearest sir : a thousand thanks for 
this treat. Dr. Johnson is very gay and sociable 

1 Sheridan's Critic, printed at this time, but unpublished [Mrs. Barrett's 


and comfortable, and quite as kind to me as ever ; 
and he says, the Bodleian librarian has but done 
his duty, 1 and that when he goes to Oxford, he 
will write my name in the books, and my age when 
I writ them, and sign the whole with his own ; " and 
then," he says, "the world may know that we 

" So mixed our studies, and so joined our fame. 2 

For we shall go down hand in hand to posterity ! " 
Mrs. T. sends her best love. I don't know when 
I can leave her, but not, unless you desire it, till 
Mr. T. seems better established in health, or till 
Mrs. Davenant can come hither. 

Mr. Seward is now here. Once more, dearest sir, 
good -night — says your dutiful and most affec- 
tionate F. B. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

Chessington, Nov. 4. 

I never managed matters so adroitly before. 
Here I am already. My brother most good- 
naturedly offered to convoy me immediately ; my 
father consented ; and the murmuring of the rest, 
though " more comfortable to me than the buzzing 
of hornets and wasps," was yet of no avail to retard 
me. I was sorry indeed to leave them all so soon, 
but as my six weeks here were destined and pro- 
mised, it is better to have them over before I 
pretend to be settled at home — at either home, 
may I say ? 

As I spent only one day in town, I gave it 
wholly to my sisters, and they to me ; and in the 
morning we had by chance such a meeting as we 

1 The Bodleian librarian had placed Evelina in his noble library, to the 
author's astonished delight [Note by F. B.]. 

2 Pope's Epistle to Jervas, 1727, line 9. Pope writes the last word 


have not had before for very many years. My two 
brothers, Susan, and Charlotte, and myself, were 
of course at home, and Hetty accidentally coming 
to town, called in while we were all at breakfast. 
I ran upstairs, and dragged my father down out 
of the study, to see once more all together his 
original progeny, and when he came, he called out 
" Offspring ! can you dance ? " 1 

We were soon, however, again dispersed ; but 
the evening also was concluded with equal demon- 
strations of joy. My mother happened to be 
engaged to the Kirwans, and Charles, Susan, Char- 
lotte and I were not very dolefully drinking our 
tea, when the parlour door was opened, and in 
entered Pacchierotti, who stayed all the evening. 
Again we flew to the study, and again hauled down 
my father, and I believe I need hardly tell you the 
time hung not very heavily upon our hands. 

Pacchierotti inquired very much after "my so 
great favourite Mrs. Thrale." He is much more 
embarrassed in speaking English than he was, but 
understands it more readily and perfectly than ever. 
He sung to us one air from JEzio, 2 and his voice is 
more clear and sweet than I ever heard it before. 
I made but little inquiry about the opera, as I was 
running away from it, and wanted not to be tempted 
to stay. My father invited him in your name to 
Streatham, but I charged him by no means to go 
in my absence. Little Bertoni was with him. 3 

I had no other adventure in London, but a most 
delightful incident has happened since I came 
hither. We had just done tea on Friday, and 
Mrs. Hamilton, Kitty, Jem, and Mr. Crisp, were 
sitting down to cards, when we were surprised 
by an express from London, and it brought a 

1 See post, Miss Burney to Mrs. Phillips, March 19, 1782. 

2 An opera by Metastasio, 1728. 

3 Probably a son of the composer. See ante, p. 155. 


"Whereas we think fit" from the Admiralty, to 
appoint Captain Burney to the command of the 
Latona, during the absence of the Honourable 
Captain Conway. This is one of the best frigates 
in the navy, of thirty-eight guns, and immediately, 
I believe, ready for service. Jem was almost frantic 
with ecstasy of joy ; he sang, laughed, drank to his 
own success, and danced about the room with Miss 
Kitty till he put her quite out of breath. His hope 
is to get out immediately, and have a brush with 
some of the Dons, Monsieurs, or Mynheers, while 
he is in possession of a ship of sufficient force to 
attack any frigate he may meet. 

Adieu, dearest madam. I know you will approve 
my manoeuvre in so quickly getting here, because 
so much the sooner again at Streatham you will 
see your F. B. 

This moment enters our parson with your letter. 
How kind of you to write even before you received 
my scrawl from St. Martin's Street ! We had 
heard nothing of any earthquake when I came 
away. Have you heard from Lyons ? 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

St. Martin's Street, Dec. 14. 

Three days only have I left dear Streatham, and 
I feel as if I had neither seen or heard of it as 
many months. Gratify me, dearest madam, with 
a few lines to tell me how you all do, for I am half 
uneasy, and quite impatient for intelligence. Does 
the card system flourish ? — Does Dr. Johnson 
continue gay and good-humoured, and "valuing 
nobody " in a morning ? — Is Miss Thrale steady in 
asserting that all will do perfectly well ? — But most 
I wish to hear whether our dear master is any 


better in spirit ? — And whether my sweet Dottoressa 
perseveres in supporting and exerting her own ? 

I never returned to my own home so little 
merrily disposed as this last time. When I parted 
with my master, I wished much to have thanked 
him for all the kindness he has so constantly shown 
me, but I found myself too grave for the purpose ; 
however, I meant, when I parted with you, to make 
myself amends by making a speech long enough for 
both ; but then I was yet less able ; and thus it is 
that some or other cross accident for ever frustrates 
my rhetorical designs. 

Adieu, my dearest madam. Pray give my affec- 
tionate respects to Mr. Thrale and Dr. Johnson, 
my love to Miss Thrale, and compliments to your 
doves, — and pray believe me, ever and ever, 

F. B. 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 

Streatham, Dec. 22, 1780. 

My lovely Burney will believe that I have lost 
the use of my fingers, or that I never employ them 
in writing to her but when they are shaking with 
agony. The truth is, all goes well, and so I quiet 
my mind and quarrel with my maids — for one must 
have something to do. 

Now I have picked up something to please you ; 
Dr. Johnson pronounced an actual eulogium upon 
Captain Burney, to his yesterday's listeners — how 
amiable he was, and how gentle in his manner, etc., 
tho' he had lived so many years with sailors and 

This I know is a good thing ; the only bad part 
is, that my good word will now be of less import- 
ance to him, and I had a great mind to court him 
out of a share of his good opinion and kindness : 
but I'll try at it yet whenever I come to town. 


Dr. Burney brought my master a nice companion 
t'other morning ; he was quite happy, and applauded 
her schemes of education — just like a man who 
never heard how the former ones succeeded. I 
thought like old Croaker — heaven send us all the 
better for them this time three years ! 1 

What a noodle I was to get no franks for 
Chessington ! and now all the members are dispersed 
over the globe, till the hanging Lord George 
Gordon shall call them together again : he is to be 
hanged sure enough. 

Sir R. Jebb is leaving us, just in the manner of 
a hen who is quitting her chickens — he leaves us 
by degrees, and makes long intervals now, short 
visits, etc. Dear creature, how I adore him ! and 
what praises have I coaxed Mrs. Montagu out of 
to please him. He'll value those more than mine 
— a rogue ! 

The Parkers were here yesterday, and sate whole 
hours, and told all their terrors in the riot season, 
etc., besides an adventure of a trunk cut from 

behind a post-chaise, which lasted Oh, I 

thought I should have died no other death than 
that trunk would have given me. 

I suppose you gather from all this that Mr. 
Thrale dines below, plays at cards, etc., for so he 
does, and makes all the haste to be well that mortal 
man can make. 

Tell Mr. Crisp that your friend is a whimsical 
animal enough, but that she loves her friends, and 
her friends' friends, and him of course : and tell the 
Captain that I had a lady here last Saturday, and 
could think of nothing for chat so well as the dis- 
coveries in the South Seas, and his kindness in 
giving Hester some rarities from thence, which 
she produced — that the lady made the following 

1 An untextual quotation from Act I. of Goldsmith's Qood-Natur'd 


reflection on what she saw and heard — "Why, 
madam," said she, " I have been thinking all this 
while how happy a thing it is that when some parts 
of the world wear out and go to decay, Captain 
Burney should find out new ones to supply their 
places, and serve instead." All this with perfect 
innocence of all meaning whatsoever. 

Adieu, dearest, loveliest Burney ! Write to me 
kindly, think of me partially, come to me willingly, 
and dream of me if you will ; for I am, as you well 
know, ever yours, H. L. T. 

Sir fcuvU. KrymMl p<nr 

-from cbjfirirub In/ Ujarto-t 'o'z it 
a/ti'r M ci/n (ytdid 


Correspondence between Miss Burney and Mrs. Thrale — 
Merlin — His mill to grind old ladies young — Dr. 
Johnson — Bartolozzi — An Owhyhee dress — Conversazione 
— Characters — Mrs. Montagu — Dinner at Mrs. Thrale' s 
— Lord Sheffield — Lord John Clinton — Two beauties 
and a fright — Mrs. Carter — Webber's South Sea drawings 
— Curious fans — The Duchess of Devonshire — Sir Joshua 
Reynolds — A dinner party — A character — Sudden death of 
Mr. Thrale — Correspondence between Mr. Crisp and Miss 
Burney — The Three Warnings — Diary resumed — Visitors — 
Misconceptions — A dinner party — A quarrel — Perseverance 
and obstinacy — Reconciliation — Sale of Mr. Thrale's brewery 
— Mr. Barclay, the rich Quaker — Dr. Johnson — Newspaper 
scandal — A poor artist — An odd adventure — Anecdote of 
Dr. Johnson — Sitting for one's portrait — Visit to Streatham 
— A subject for Harry Bunbury — The wits at war — Johnson's 
Life of Lord Lyttelton — Singular scene — Johnson in a savage 
fit — A peace-maker — Merlin, the mechanician. 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 

Streatham, Thursday, January 4. 

Don't I pick up franks prettily ? I sent a 
hundred miles for this, and the churl enclosed but 
one — "certain that Miss Burney could not live 
long enough away from me to need two." Ah, 
cruel Miss Burney ! she will never come again, I 

Well ! but I did see Phillips written in that 



young man's honest face, though nobody pro- 
nounced the word ; and I boldly bid him " Good 
morrow, Captain" at the door, trusting to my own 
instinct when I came away. Your sweet father, 
however, this day trusted me with the whole secret, 
and from my heart do I wish every comfort and 
joy from the match. 1 

'Tis now high time to tell you that the pictures 
are come home, all but mine, — which my master 
don't like. 2 He has ordered your father to sit 
to-morrow, in his peremptory way ; 3 and I shall 
have the dear Doctor every morning at breakfast. 
I took ridiculous pains to tutor him to-day, and to 
insist, in my peremptory way, on his forbearing to 
write or read late this evening, that my picture 
might not have blood-shot eyes. 

Merlin 4 has been here to tune the fortepianos. 5 
He told Mrs. Davenant 6 and me that he had 
thoughts of inventing a particular mill to grind 
old ladies young, as he was so prodigiously fond 

1 The approaching marriage of Susan Burney to Captain Molesworth 
Phillips of the Marines (one of James Burney's comrades on Cook's last 
voyage), which took place at the beginning of 1782 (see post, vol. ii. 
letter of March 19, 1782). 

2 No doubt the double picture of Mrs. Thrale and Queenie, which 
afterwards hung over the fireplace in the Library at Streatham. The 
lady liked it no better than her husband. "There is really no re- 
semblance," she said, " and the character is less like my father's 
daughter than Pharaoh's." 

3 For his portrait for the Thrale Gallery. It now belongs to Arch- 
deacon Burney. It was bought at the Thrale sale of May 1816, by 
Dr. Burney's son, Dr. Charles Burney of Greenwich, for £84 (Piozziana, 
1833, p. 51). 

4 John Joseph Merlin, 1735-1803, a popular French mechanician and 
pianoforte maker, at this date the rage in London, where everything for 
a time was a la Merlin. He had come to England in 1760 ; and in 
1768-73, he was Director of Cox's Museum in Spring Gardens. After- 
wards he had an exhibition of automata etc. in Prince's Street, Hanover 
Square, which was known as "Merlin's Cave." Gainsborough painted 
him (see post, under June 16), and the portrait was among the artist's last 
exhibited works. 

5 Pianofortes, i.e. harpsichords with hammers, had only recently 
appeared in England ; and " Daddy " Crisp is credited with the receipt 
of the first which had been made by an English monk at Rome. Crisp 
sold it to Fulke Greville for 100 guineas (Early Diary, 1889, i. liv.). 

6 Mrs. Davenant, of Red Lion Square, hereafter described as "one of 
the saucy women of the tow," was a Cotton, and Mrs. Thrale's cousin. 


of their company. I suppose he thought we should 
bring grist Was that the way to put people in 
tune ? I asked him. 

Doctor Burney says your letters and mine are 
alike, and that it comes by writing so incessantly 
to each other. I feel proud and pleased, and 
find I shall slip pretty readily into the Susan- 
nuccia's place, when she goes to settle on her 
£700 a-year ; of which God give her joy seven 
hundred times over, dear creature ! I never knew 
how it was to love an incognita but Susan Burney : 
my personal acquaintance with her is actually 
nothing — is it ? — and yet we always seem to 
understand one another. H. L. T. 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss F. Burney 

Streatham, Thursday, 11th. 

I never was so glad of a letter from you before : 
the dear Doctor had been in the room just half- 
an-hour, and had frighted me with an account of 
your fever. Thank God there is no harm come to 
my sweet little friend ; her spirits and her affection 
are as strong as ever, for all Dr. Johnson, — who 
says nobody loves each other much when they 
have been parted long. How well do you know 
him, and me, and all of us, — and talk of my 
penetration ! 

Your father sits for his picture in the Doctor of 
music's gown ; and Bartolozzi makes an engraving 
from it to place at the head of the book. 1 Sir 
Joshua delights in the portrait, and says 'twill be 
the best among them. I hope it will ; and by this 
time, perhaps, you may have begun thinking of the 
miniature too ; but it is not touched yet, I assure 
you. Sweet Susannuccia ! I will slide into her 
place ; I shall get more of your company, too, and 

1 The second volume of the History of Music, which appeared in 1782. 


more — is there any more to be had ? — of your con- 
fidence. Yes, yes, there is a little, to be sure ; but 
dear Mrs. Thrale shall have it all now. Oh, 'tis an 
excellent match ! and he has £700 a-year — that is, 
he will have : it is entailed, and irrevocable. 

I send this by your father, who will put it in 
the post ; not a frank to-day for love or money. 
I did not intend to having written so soon. He 
and I shall meet at St. James's this day sennight. 
The Owhyhee * is to be trimmed with grebeskins 
and gold to the tune of £65 — the trimming only. 
What would I give to show it to you ! — or show 
you anything, for that matter, that would show 
how affectionately I am yours ! 

Dr. Burney says you carry bird-lime in your 
brains, for everything that lights there sticks. 
I think you carry it in your heart, and that mine 
sticks very close to it. So adieu ! H. L. T. 

Mrs. Thrale to Miss Burney 

Grosvenor Square, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1781. 

This moment Dick Burney tells me how ill you 
are. My dear, how shall I keep from stepping 
into a post-chaise, and sousing through Gascoyne 
Lane to look after you ? Complicated as my 
engagements are, between business and flash, I 
shall certainly serve you so, if you do not make 
haste and be well. 

Yesterday I had a conversazione. Mrs. Mon- 
tagu was brilliant in diamonds, solid in judgment, 
critical in talk. Sophy smiled, Piozzi sung, 2 

1 Mrs. Thrale had a court dress woven at Spitalfields, from a pattern 
of Owhyhee manufacture, brought thence by Captain Burney [Mrs. 
Barrett's note]. A letter from Susan Burney, dated January 19, 1781 
(Early Diary, 1889, ii. 267), refers to this costume. 

2 When Mrs. Thrale was at Brighton in 1780, Miss Burney had 
recommended Signor Piozzi to her by letter as " a man likely to lessen 
the burden of life to her" (Autobiography, etc. 1861, i. 147, and ii. 49). 


Pepys panted with admiration, Johnson was good- 
humoured, Lord John Clinton attentive, Dr. 
Bowdler lame, and my master not asleep. Mrs. 
Ord looked elegant, Lady Rothes dainty, Mrs. 
Davenant dapper, and Sir Philip's 1 curls were all 
blown about by the wind. Mrs. Byron rejoices 
that her Admiral and I agree so well ; the way 
to his heart is connoisseurship it seems, and for a 
background and contorno, who comes up to Mrs. 
Thrale, you know. 

Captain Fuller flashes away among us. How 
that boy loves rough merriment ! the people all 
seem to keep out of his way for fear. 

Aunt Cotton died firmly persuaded that Mrs. 
Davenant was a natural, and that I wrote her 
letters for her — how odd ! 

Many people said she was the prettiest woman 
in the room last night, — and that is as odd; 
Augusta Byron, and Sophy Streatfield, and Mrs. 
HinchlifFe, 2 being present. 

Mrs. Montagu talked to me about you for an 
hour t'other day, and said she was amazed that so 
delicate a girl could write so boisterous a book. 

Loveliest Burney, be as well as ever you can, 
pray do. When you are with me, I think I love 
you from habit ; when you are from me, I fancy 
distance endears you : be that as it may, your own 
father can alone love you better, or wish you 
better, or desire the sight of you more sincerely, 
than does your H. L. T. 

Dr. Johnson is very good and very clubbable, 
but Sir R. Jebb is quite a scourge to me. Who 
now would believe that I cannot make a friend 
of that man, but am forced to fly to Dr. Pepys 3 

1 Sir Philip Jennings Clerke. 

2 Perhaps the wife of the Bishop of Peterborough, nee Elizabeth 

3 Sir Lucas Pepys, 1742-1830, was not created a baronet until 1784. 


for comfort ? He is so haughty, so impracticable 
a creature ; and yet I esteem and honour him, 
though I cannot make him feel anything towards 
me but desire of downing, etc. 


Chessington, February 8, 1781. 

This moment have two sweet and most kind 
letters from my best -loved Mrs. Thrale made 
amends for no little anxiety which her fancied 
silence had given me. I know not what is now 
come to this post ; but there is nothing I can 
bear with so little patience as being tricked out of 
any of your letters. They do, indeed, give me 
more delight than I can express ; they seem to 
me the perfection of epistolary writing ; for, in Dr. 
Johnson's phrase, all that is not kindness is wit, 
p- and all that is not wit is kindness. 

What you tell me of Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. 
Carter gives me real concern ; it is a sort of general 
disgrace to us ; but, as you say, it shall have 
nothing to do with you and I. Mrs. Montagu, 
as we have often agreed, is a character rather to 
respect than love, for she has not that don d" aimer 
by which alone love can be made fond or faith- 
ful ; and many as are the causes by which respect 
may be lessened, there are very few by which 
it can be afterwards restored to its first dignity. 
But where there is real affection, the case is 
exactly reversed ; few things can weaken, and 
/| every trifle can revive it. 

Yet not for forty years, in this life at least, 
shall we continue to love each other ; I am very 
sure I, for one, shall never last half that time. 
If you saw but how much the illness of a week 
has lowered and injured me, considering in what 
perfect health I came hither, you would be half 


astonished ; and that in spite of the utmost care 
and attention from every part of this kind family. 
I have just, with great difficulty, escaped a re- 
lapse, from an unfortunate fresh cold with which 
I am at this time struggling. Long last you, 
dearest madam ! — I am sure in the whole world I 
know not such another. 

I think I shall always hate this book 1 which 
has kept me so long away from you, as much as I 
shall always love Evelina, who first comfortably 
introduced me to you ; an event which I may 
truly say opened a new, and, I hope, an exhaust- 
less source of happiness to your most gratefully 
affectionate F. B. 

Journal resumed 

(Addressed to Mr. Crisp.) 

March 23, 1781. — I have very narrowly escaped 
a return of the same vile and irksome fever which 
with such difficulty has been conquered, and that 
all from vexation. Last week I went to dinner 
in Grosvenor Square. 2 I ran upstairs, as usual, 
into Mrs. Thrale's dressing-room, and she there 
acquainted me that Mr. Thrale had resolved upon 
going abroad : first to Spa, next to Italy, and then 
whither his fancy led him ! that Dr. Johnson was 
to accompany them, but that, as their journey was 
without limit either of time or place, as Mr. 
Thrale's ill state of health and strange state of 
mind would make it both melancholy and alarm- 
ing, she could not in conscience think of taking 
me from my own friends and country without 
knowing either whither, or for what length of time. 

1 Cecilia ; or. Memoirs of an Heiress — upon which Miss Burney was 
then engaged (see ante, pp. 312 and 344). 

2 This was a furnished house, taken by advice of Thrale's doctors. 


She would write to me, however, every post ; 
leave me the keys of all she left of any value, 
and, in case of any evil to herself, make me her 
executrix ! 

Oh, what words ! and what a scheme ! I was 
so infinitely shocked, surprised, and grieved, that 
I was forced to run away from her, and insist upon 
hearing no more ; neither could I sufficiently 
recover even to appear at dinner, as Dr. Johnson, 
Mr. Seward, and Mr. Ingram, were of the party ; 
I was obliged, therefore, to shut myself up all the 

You will not, I am sure, wonder that I should 
be utterly disconcerted and afflicted by a plan so 
wild in itself, and so grievous to me. I was, 
indeed, hardly able to support myself with any 
firmness all day ; and unfortunately, there was 
in the evening a great rout. I was then obliged 
to appear, and obliged to tell everybody I was but 
half recovered from my late indisposition. 

The party was very large, and the company 
very brilliant. I was soon encircled by acquaint- 
ances, and forced to seem as gay as my neighbours. 
My steady companions were Miss Coussmaker, 1 
Augusta Byron, Miss Ord, and Miss Thrale ; and 
the S. S. never quits me. 

I had a long conversation with the new Lord 
Sheffield ; and, as I had never seen him since he 
was Colonel Holroyd, 2 I was ridiculously enough 
embarrassed with his new title, blundering from my 
lord to sir, and from sir to my lord. He gave me 
a long account of his Coventry affairs, and of the 
commitment of the sheriffs to Newgate. He is a 
spirited and agreeable man, and, I doubt not, will 
make himself conspicuous in the right way. Lady 

1 See ante, p. 33 n. 

2 Gibbon's friend, John Baker Holroyd, 1735-1821, a colonel of 
dragoons, who had just been created an Irish baron (Baron Sheffield of 
Dunamore, Co. Meath). He became Earl of Sheffield in 1802. 


Sheffield 1 was also very civil ; and, as she came 
second, I was better prepared, and therefore gave 
her ladyship her title with more readiness ; which 
was lucky enough, for I believe she would much 
less have liked the omission. 

Mrs. Thrale took much pains to point out her 
friend Lord John Clinton to me, and me to 
him : he is extremely ugly, but seems lively and 

The greatest beauty in the room, except the 
S. S., was Mrs. Gwynn, lately Miss Horneck; 2 
and the greatest fright was Lord Sandys. 3 

I have time for nothing more about this evening, 
which, had not my mind been wholly and sadly 
occupied by other matters, would have been very 
agreeable to me. 

The next day I again spent in Grosvenor 
Square, where nothing new had passed about this 
cruel journey. I then met a very small party, 
consisting only of Mrs. Price, who was a Miss 
Evelyn, Miss Benson, Dr. Johnson, and Mrs. 

The latter, as there were so few folks, talked a 
good deal, and was far more sociable and easy than 
I had yet seen her. Her talk, too, though all upon 
books (for life and manners she is as ignorant of 
as a nun), was very unaffected and good-humoured, 
and I liked her exceedingly. Mrs. Price is a very 
sensible, shrewd, lofty, and hard-headed woman. 
Miss Benson not very unlike her. 

Tuesday. — I passed the whole day at Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's with Miss Palmer, who, in the morning, 
took me to see some most beautiful fans, painted 
by Poggi, from designs of Sir Joshua, Angelica, 
West, and Cipriani, on leather ; they are, indeed, 

1 Abigail, first Lady Sheffield. She had been a Miss Way. She died 
April 3, 1793. 

2 See ante, p. 171. 

3 Edwin Sandys, second Baron, d. 1801. 

VOL. I 2 H 


more delightful than can well be imagined : one 
was bespoke by the Duchess of Devonshire, for 
a present to some woman of rank in France, that 
was to cost £30. 

We were accompanied by Mr. Eliot, the knight 
of the shire for Cornwall, a most agreeable, lively, 
and very clever man. 

We then went to Mr. Webber's, to see his 
South Sea drawings. 1 Here we met Captain 
King, 2 who chiefly did the honours in showing the 
curiosities and explaining them. He is one of the 
most natural, gay, honest, and pleasant characters 
I ever met with. We spent all the rest of the 
morning here, much to my satisfaction. The 
drawings are extremely well worth seeing ; they 
consist of views of the country of Otaheite, New 
Zealand, New Amsterdam, Kamschatka, and parts 
of China ; and portraits of the inhabitants done 
from the life. 

When we returned to Leicester Fields we were 
heartily welcomed by Sir Joshua. Mr. Eliot 
stayed the whole day ; and no other company came 
but Mr. Webber, who was invited to tea. Sir 
Joshua is fat and well. He is preparing for the 
Exhibition a new " Death of Dido " ; portraits of 
the three beautiful Lady Waldegraves, Horatia, 
Laura, and Maria, all in one picture, and at work 
with the tambour ; 3 a Thais, for which a Miss 
Emily, a celebrated courtesan, sat, at the desire 
of the Hon. Charles Greville ; 4 and what others 

1 John Webber, 1750-93, landscape painter, and draughtsman on 
Cook's third voyage, 1776-80. His coloured etchings were published 

2 James King, 1750-84, accompanied Cook as astronomer and second 
lieutenant in 1776, and prepared the journal of his third voyage for the 

3 All these pictures, with eleven others, were exhibited in 1781 (see 
post, p. 491). Walpole's nieces cost him 800 guineas (Walpoliana, 1799, ii. 
157). Horatia married Lord Hugh Seymour ; Laura, Viscount Chewton ; 
and Maria, the Earl of Euston. 

4 Opinions are divided whether this lady's surname was Bertie, Pott, 


I know not : but his room and gallery are both 

Thursday. — I spent the whole day again in 
Grosvenor Square, where there was a very gay 
party to dinner ; Mr. Boswell, 1 Dudley Long, Mr. 

Adair, Dr. Delap, Mr. B , 2 Dr. Johnson, and 

my father ; and much could I write of what passed, 

if it were possible for me to get time. Mr. B 

was just as absurdly pompous as at Brighton ; and, 
in the midst of dinner, without any sort of intro- 
duction, or reason, or motive, he called out aloud, — 

" Sweet are the slumbers of the charming maid ! " 3 

A laugh from all parties, as you may imagine, 
followed this exclamation ; and he bore it with 
amazing insensibility. 

" What's all this laugh for ? " cried Dr. Johnson, 
who had not heard the cause. 

"Why, sir," answered Mrs. Thrale, when she 

was able to speak, "Mr. B just now called 

out, — nobody knows why, — 'Sweet are the slumbers 
of the virtuous maid ! ' " 

"No, no, not virtuous" cried Mr. Boswell, "he 
said charming ; he thought that better ! " 

"Ay, sure, sir," cried Mr. B , unmoved; 

" for why say virtuous ? — can we doubt a fair 
female's virtue ? — oh fie, oh fie ! 'tis a superfluous 

" But," cried Mrs. Thrale, " in the original it is 
the virtuous man ; why do you make it a maid of 
the sudden, Mr. B ? " 

or Coventry. Northcote maintained that the picture represented a Miss 
Emiiy Coventry, who had been painted as far back as 1776. In this case, 
it must have been finished in 1781 for Greville, who gave 100 guineas 
for it. 

1 Boswell makes no special mention of this dinner ; and this, appar- 
ently, is Miss Burney's first reference to Boswell, whom she must have 
met before at Streatham. See Appendix, p. 509. 

2 See ante, p. 292. 

3 Addison's Cato, Act V. Scene iv. The last two words should be 
*' virtuous man," as corrected by Mrs. Thrale. 


" I was alarmed at first," cried Dr. Delap, " and 
thought he had caught Miss Burney napping ; but 
when I looked at her, and saw her awake, I was at 
a loss, indeed, to find the reason of the change." 

" Here, sir ! my lad ! " cried Mr. B to the 

servant ; " why, my head's on fire ! What ! have 
you got never a screen ? Why, I shall be what 
you may call a hot-headed fellow ! I shall be a 
mere roti \ " 

In the afternoon we were joined by Mr. 
Crutchley, Mr. Byron, and Mr. Selwin ; and then 
we had a thousand private conferences and con- 
sultations concerning the Spa journey. 

I have been so often and so provokingly inter- 
rupted in writing this, that I must now finish it by 
lumping matters at once. Sir Bichard Jebb and 
Dr. Pepys have both been consulted concerning 
this going abroad, and are both equally violent 
against it, as they think it even unwarrantable, in 
such a state of health as Mr. Thrale's ; and, there- 
fore, it is settled that a great meeting of his friends 
is to take place before he actually prepares for the 
journey, and they are to encircle him in a body, 
and endeavour, by representations and entreaties, 
to prevail with him to give it up ; and I have little 
doubt myself but, amongst us, we shall be able to 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 1 

Wednesday Evening {April 4]. 

You bid me write to you, and so I will ; you 
bid me pray for you, and so, indeed, I do, for the 

This letter was written in reply to a few words from Mrs. Thrale, in 
which, alluding to her husband's sudden death, she begs Miss Burney to 
" write to me— pray for me ! " The hurried note from Mrs. Thrale is thus 
endorsed by Miss Burney : — " Written a few hours after the death of Mr. 
Thrale, which happened by a sudden stroke of apoplexy, on the morning 
of a day [April 4, 1781] on which half the fashion of London had been 
invited to an intended assembly at his house in Grosvenor Square " [Mrs. 


restoration of your sweet peace of mind. I pray 
for your resignation to this hard blow, for the 
continued union and exertion of your virtues with 
your talents, and for the happiest reward their 
exertion can meet with, in the gratitude and 
prosperity of your children. These are my prayers 
for my beloved Mrs. Thrale ; but these are not my 
only ones ; no, the unfailing warmth of her kind- 
ness for myself I have rarely, for a long time past, 
slept without first petitioning. 

I ran away without seeing you again when I 
found you repented that sweet compliance with 
my request which I had won from you. For the 
world would I not have pursued you, had I first 
seen your prohibition, nor could I endure to owe 
that consent to teasing which I only solicited from 
tenderness. Still, however, I think you had better 
have suffered me to follow you ; I might have been 
of some use ; I hardly could have been in your 
way. But I grieve now to have forced you to an 
interview which I would have spared myself as well 
as you, had I foreseen how little it would have 
answered my purpose. 

Yet though I cannot help feeling disappointed, I 
am not surprised ; for in any case at all similar, I am 
sure I should have the same eagerness for solitude. 

I tell you nothing of how sincerely I sympathise 
in your affliction ; yet I believe that Mr. Crutchley 
and Dr. Johnson alone do so more earnestly ; 
and I have some melancholy comfort in flattering 
myself that, allowing for the difference of our 
characters, that true regard which I felt was as 
truly returned. Nothing but kindness did I ever 
meet with ; he ever loved to have me, not merely 
with his family, but with himself ; and gratefully 
shall I ever remember a thousand kind expressions 
of esteem and good opinion, which are now crowd- 
ing upon my memory. 


Ah, dearest madam ! you had better have 
accepted me ; I am sure, if unfit for you, I am at 
this time unfit for everybody. Adieu, and Heaven 
preserve my heart's dearest friend ! Don't torment 
yourself to write to me, nor will I even ask Queeny, 
though she is good, and I believe would not deny 
me ; but what can you say but that you are sad 
and comfortless ? and do I not know that far too 
well ? I will write again to you, and a thousand 
times again, for nothing am I more truly than 
your F. B. 

Miss F. Burney to Mrs. Thrale 

Saturday, April 6. 

I would I had some commission, some business, 
some pretence for writing to my best-loved friend ; 
for write I must, while I have the faintest hope my 
letters will be received without aversion. Yet I 
have nothing on earth to say, but how much I love 
and how truly I am grieved for her. To you, 
dearest madam, I can offer nothing by way of 
comfort or consolation, whatever I might do to 
many others ; but what could I urge which you 
have not a thousand times revolved in your own 
mind ? Dr. Johnson alone could offer anything 
new, or of strength to deserve attention from 
Mrs. Thrale. The rectitude and purity of your 
principles, both religious and moral, I have often 
looked up to with reverence, and I now no more 
doubt their firmness in this time of trial than if I 
witnessed their operation. Queeny, too, I saw was 
bent upon exerting the utmost fortitude upon this 
first, and I believe, indeed, most painful occasion 
to her that could call for it. May she now for her 
sweet mother unite all the affection and attention 
which hitherto have deserved to be divided ! 

Many friends call and send here to inquire after 


you ; but I have myself avoided them all. I 
cannot yet bear the conversation which is to follow 
every meeting. To be with you I would wrap 
myself up in misery ; but, without such a motive, 
no one more hasty to run away from all that is 
possible to be fled from. 

Dr. Johnson, I hear, is well. I hear nothing 
else I have any wish to communicate. 

Adieu, most dear madam ; and still love, when 
you have time and composure to again think of her, 
the sincerest, the gratefulest, the fondest of your 
friends, in F. B. who, though she first received 
your affection as an unmerited partiality, hopes 
never to forfeit, and perhaps some time to deserve 

I do not even request an answer ; I scarce wish 
for it ; because I know what it must be. But I 
will write again in a few days. My kind love to 
Miss Thrale. F. B. 

Miss F. Burney to Mr. Crisp 

Streatham, April 29, 1781. 

Have you not, my dearest daddy, thought me 
utterly lost ? and, indeed, to all power of either 
giving or taking comfort, I certainly have been for 
some time past. I did not, it is true, hope that 
poor Mr. Thrale could live very long, as the altera- 
tion I saw in him only during my absence while 
with you had shocked and astonished me. Yet, 
still the suddenness of the blow gave me a horror 
from which I am not even now recovered. The 
situation of sweet Mrs. Thrale, added to the true 
concern I felt at his loss, harassed my mind till it 
affected my health, which is now again in a state of 
precariousness and comfortless restlessness that will 
require much trouble to remedy. 

You have not, I hope, been angry at my 


silence ; for, in truth, I have had no spirits to 
write, nor, latterly, ability of any kind, from a 
headache that has been incessant. 

I now begin to long extremely to hear more 
about yourself, and whether you have recovered 
your sleep and any comfort. The good nursing 
you mention is always my consolation when I have 
the painful tidings of your illness ; for I have 
myself experienced the kindness, care, and un- 
wearied attention of the ever -good and friendly 
Kitty, who, indeed, as you well say, can by no one 
be excelled in that most useful and most humane 
of all sciences. 

Mrs. Thrale flew immediately upon this mis- 
fortune to Brighthelmstone, to Mr. Scrase 1 — her 
Daddy Crisp — both for consolation and counsel ; 
and she has but just quitted him, as she deferred 
returning to Streatham till her presence was indis- 
pensably necessary upon account of proving the 
will. I offered to accompany her to Brighthelm- 
stone ; but she preferred being alone, as her mind 
was cruelly disordered, and she saw but too plainly 
I was too sincere a mourner myself to do much 
besides adding to her grief. The moment, how- 
ever, she came back, she solicited me to meet her, 
— and I am now here with her, and endeavour, by 
every possible exertion, to be of some use to her. 
She looks wretchedly indeed, and is far from well ; 
but she bears up, though not with calm intrepidity, 
yet with flashes of spirit that rather, I fear, spend 
than relieve her. Such, however, is her character, 
and were this exertion repressed, she would prob- 
ably sink quite. 

Miss Thrale is steady and constant, and very 
sincerely grieved for her father. 

The four executors, Mr. Cator, 2 Mr. Crutchley, 

1 See ante, p. 431. 

2 Mr. John Cator, a timber merchant ; afterwards M. P. for Ipswich. 


Mr. Henry Smith, 1 and Dr. Johnson, have all 
behaved generously and honourably, and seem 
determined to give Mrs. Thrale all the comfort and 
assistance in their power. She is to carry on the 
business jointly with them. Poor soul ! it is a 
dreadful toil and worry to her. 

Adieu, my dearest daddy. I will write again in 
a week's time. I have now just been blooded ; but 
am by no means restored by that loss. But well 
and ill, equally and ever, your truly affectionate 
child, F. B. 

Mr. Crisp to Miss F. Burney 

Chessington, May 15, 1781. 

My dear Fannikin — I was neither cross nor 
surprised at not hearing from you so long, as I was 
at no loss for the cause of your silence. I know 
you have a heart, and on a late occasion can easily 
imagine it was too full to attend to forms, or, indeed, 
to any but the one great object immediately before 
you. To say the truth, I should be sorry to have 
your nature changed, for the sake of a letter or two 
more or less from you ; because I can now with 
confidence say to myself, " The girl is really sincere, 
and, as she does profess some friendship and regard 
for me, I can believe her, and am convinced that, if 
any evil were to befall me, she would be truly sorry 
for me." 

There is a pleasure in such a thought, and I 

He was a friend of Johnson, who visited him at his house at Beckenham, 
and declared that there was "much good in his character, and much 
usefulness in his knowledge " (Hill's Boswell, 1887, iv. 313). In a later 
letter to Mrs. Thrale, he wrote, " Cator has a rough, manly, independent 
understanding, and does not spoil it by complaisance ; he never speaks 
merely to please, and seldom is mistaken in things which he has any 
right to know" (Hill's Letters of Johnson, 1892, ii. 374). See post, 
p. 500. 

1 Mr Smith was a relation of Thrale. 


will indulge it. The steadiness and philosophy of 
certain of our friends is, perhaps, to be admired ; 
but I wish it not to be imitated by any of my 
friends. I would have the feelings of their minds 
be keen and even piercing, but stop there. Let 
not the poor tenement of clay give way : — if that 
goes, how shall they abide the peltings of these 
pitiless storms ? 1 Your slight machine is certainly 
not made for such rough encounters ; — for which 
I am truly sorry. You did not make yourself; 
allowed ! — agreed ! — But you may mend yourself, 
and that is all I require of you. 

If I had you here, I should talk to you on this 
head ; but at present I ought not to wish it. Mrs. 
Thrale has an undoubted right to you, nor should 
I wish to tear you from her. When the wound is 
healed, and nothing but the scar remaining, the 
plaster ought to be removed, — and then I put in 
my claim. 

Let me hear from you soon that your health 
and spirits are mended — greatly mended. I sin- 
cerely wish the same to your beloved friend, to 
whom you must present my best respects. I am 
glad she is connected with such worthy people in 
her affairs. I have more than once observed that 
the unavoidable necessity of attending to business 
of indispensable consequence, and that with strict, 
unabated perseverance, has contributed more to 
divert, and dissipate, and finally to cure deep 
sorrow, than all the wise lessons of philosophers, or 
the well-meant consolations of friends. May she 
prove an instance to confirm this observation ! 

As for my own shattered frame, I have had a 
pretty long and convincing proof that it is not 
immortal. Gout, rheumatism, indigestion, want of 
sleep, almost ever since I saw you, I think, may 
amount pretty nearly to the sum total of Mrs. 

1 King Lear, Act III. Sc. iv. 


Thrale's " Three Warnings." l If I don't take the 
hint the fault is my own — Nature has done her 

Bad as I have been though, I now hobble about 
the garden with a stick, and for this fortnight past 
have been gradually mending, though slowly. 

Ham and Kate are constantly inquiring after 
you, and when you will come. I am sure they 
love you, or I should not love them. Adieu, my 
Fannikin. — Your affectionate daddy, 

S. C. 

Journal resumed 

Streatham, May 1781. — Miss Owen and I 
arrived here without incident, which, in a journey 
of six or seven miles, was really marvellous ! Mrs. 
Thrale came from the Borough with two of the 
executors, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Crutchley, soon 
after us. She had been sadly worried, and in the 
evening frightened us all by again fainting away. 
Dear creature ! she is all agitation of mind and 
of body : but she is now wonderfully recovered, 
though in continual fevers about her affairs, which 
are mightily difficult and complicate indeed. Yet 
the behaviour of all the executors is exactly to 
her wish. Mr. Crutchley, in particular, was he a 
darling son or only brother, 2 could not possibly be 
more truly devoted to her. Indeed, I am very 
happy in the revolution in my own mind in favour 
of this young man, whom formerly I so little liked ; 
for I now see so much of him, business and inclina- 
tion uniting to bring him hither continually, that 
if he were disagreeable to me, I should spend my 

1 This well-known tale in verse is printed at vol. ii. pp. 165-69, of Hay- 
ward's Autobiography, etc. of Mrs. Piozzi {Thrale), 2nd ed. 1861. It was 
originally written for the 4to vol. of Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, 
published in 1766 by Johnson's friend, the blind Mrs. Williams (see ante, 
pp. 50 and 169). 2 See ante, p. 133. 


time in a most comfortless manner. On the con- 
trary, I both respect and esteem him very highly ; 
for his whole conduct manifests so much goodness 
of heart and excellence of principle, that he is 
fairly un homme comme il y en a pen ; 1 and that 
first appearance of coldness, pride, reserve, and 
sneering, all wears off upon further acquaintance, 
and leaves behind nothing but good-humour and 
good-will. And this you must allow to be very 
candid, when I tell you that, but yesterday, he 
affronted me so much by a piece of impertinence, 
that I had a very serious quarrel with him. Of 
this more anon. 

Dr. Johnson was charming, both in spirits and 
humour. I really think he grows gayer and gayer 
daily, and more ductile and pleasant. 

Mr. Crutchley stayed till Sunday, when we had 
many visitors, — Mrs. Plumbe, one of poor Mr. 
Thrale's sisters ; Mrs. AYallace, wife to the 
Attorney-General, a very ugly, but sensible and 
agreeable woman ; Sir Philip Jennings Clerke, and 
Mr. Selwin. 2 

Monday Miss Owen left us. 

Tuesday came Lord and Lady Westcote, and 
afterwards Dr. and Mrs. Parker, Dr. Lort, and the 
Bishop of Killaloe. 3 Dr. Parker is a terrible old 
proser, and wore me out ; Mrs. Parker is well-bred 
and sensible ; my friend Dr. Lort was comical and 
diverting ; and the Bishop of Killaloe is a gay, 
sprightly, polite, and ready man : I liked him well. 

1 See ante, p. 9. 2 See ante, p. 299. 

3 Thomas Barnard, 1728-1806, Bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora from 
1780 to 1794. This was the Barnard who, in reply to one of Johnson's 
rough boutades, wrote the charming verses on improvement after the 
age of forty-five, ending : — 

Let Johnson teach one how to place 
In fairest light, each borrow'd grace, 

From him I'll learn to write ; 
Copy his clear, familiar style. 
And from the roughness of his file 

Grow like himself— polite. 

(Northcote's Life of Reynolds, 2nd ed. 1819, i. 221.) 


Sunday morning nobody went to church but 
Mr. Crutchley, Miss Thrale, and myself ; and some 
time after, when I was sauntering upon the lawn 
before the house, Mr. Crutchley joined me. We 
were returning together into the house, when 
Mrs. Thrale, popping her head out of her dressing- 
room window, called out, " How nicely these men 
domesticate among us, Miss Burney ! Why, they 
take to us as natural as life ! " 

"Well, well," cried Mr. Crutchley, "I have 
sent for my horse, and I shall release you early 
to-morrow morning. I think yonder comes Sir 

" Oh ! you'll have enough to do with him" cried 
she, laughing ; " he is well prepared to plague you, 
I assure you." 

" Is he ?— and what about ? " 

" Why, about Miss Burney. He asked me the 
other day what was my present establishment. 
'Mr. Crutchley and Miss Burney,' I answered. 
' How well these two names go together,' cried he ; 
6 1 think they can't do better than make a match 
of it : / will consent, I am sure,' he added ; and 
to-day, I daresay, you will hear enough of it." 

I leave you to judge if I was pleased at this 
stuff thus communicated ; but Mrs. Thrale, with 
all her excellence, can give up no occasion of 
making sport, however unseasonable, or even 

" I am very much obliged to him, indeed ! " 
cried I drily ; and Mr. Crutchley called out, 
" Thank him ! — thank him ! " in a voice of pride 
and of pique that spoke him mortally angry. 

I instantly came into the house, leaving him to 
talk it out with Mrs. Thrale, to whom I heard him 
add, " So this is Sir Philip's kindness ! " and her 
answer, " I wish you no worse luck ! " 

Now, what think you of this ? was it not highly 


insolent ? — and from a man who has behaved to 
me hitherto with the utmost deference, good 
nature, and civility, and given me a thousand 
reasons, by every possible opportunity, to think 
myself very high indeed in his good opinion and 
good graces ? But these rich men think them- 
selves the constant prey of all portionless girls, 
and are always upon their guard, and suspicious 
of some design to take them in. This sort of 
disposition I had very early observed in Mr. 
Crutchley, and therefore I had been more distant 
and cold with him than with anybody I ever met 
with ; but latterly his character had risen so much 
in my mind, and his behaviour was so much 
improved, that I had let things take their own 
course, and no more shunned than I sought him ; 
for I evidently saw his doubts concerning me and 
my plots were all at an end, and his civility and 
attentions were daily increasing, so that I had 
become very comfortable with him, and well 
pleased with his society. 

I need not, I think, add that I determined to 
see as little of this most fearful and haughty 
gentleman in future as was in my power, since no 
good qualities can compensate for such arrogance 
of suspicion ; and, therefore, as I had reason 
enough to suppose he would, in haste, resume his 
own reserve, I resolved, without much effort, to be 
beforehand with him in resuming mine. 

At dinner we had a large and most disagreeable 
party of Irish ladies, whom Mrs. Thrale was 
necessitated to invite from motives of business 
and various connections. We were in all fourteen, 
viz. Sir Philip Gierke ; Mrs. Lambart and her son, 
a genteel young youth ; Miss Owen ; Mr. and 
Mrs. v Perkins ; Mrs. Vincent ; Mrs. O'Riley and 
Miss O'Riley, her sister-in-law ; Mr. Crutchley, 
Mrs. and Miss Thrale ; and myself. 


I was obliged, at dinner, to be seated between 
Miss O'Riley and Mr. Crutchley, to whom you 
may believe I was not very courteous, especially 
as I had some apprehensions of Sir Philip. Mr. 
Crutchley, however, to my great surprise, was 
quite as civil as ever, and endeavoured to be as 
chatty ; but there I begged to be excused, only 
answering upon the reply, and that very drily, for 
I was indeed horribly provoked with him. 

[Indeed, all his behaviour would have been 
natural and good-humoured, and just what I 
should have liked, had he better concealed his 
chagrin at the first accusation ; but that, still 
dwelling by me, made me very indifferent to what 
followed, though I found he had no idea of 
having displeased me, and rather sought to be 
more than less sociable than usual. 

I was much diverted during dinner by this 
Miss O'Riley, who took it in her humour to 
attack Mr. Crutchley repeatedly, though so 
discouraging a beau never did I see ! Her 
forwardness, and his excessive and inordinate 
coldness, made a contrast that, added to her 
brogue, which was broad, kept me in a grin 

In the afternoon, we had also Mr. Wallace, the 
Attorney-General, a most squat and squab-looking 
man ; * and further I saw not of him. 

In the evening, when the Irish ladies, the 
Perkinses, Lambarts, and Sir Philip, were gone, 
Mrs. Thrale walked out with Mr. Wallace, whom 
she had some business to talk over with ; and then, 
when only Miss Owen, Miss T., and I remained, 
Mr. Crutchley, after repeatedly addressing me, and 
gaining pretty dry answers, called out suddenly, 
" Why, Miss Burney ! why, what's the matter ? " 

1 James Wallace, d. 1783; Solicitor - General, 1778-80; Attorney- 
General, 1780-83 (see post, p. 503). 


" Nothing." 

" Why, are you stricken, or smitten, or ill ? " 

" None of the three." 

" Oh, then, you are setting down all these Irish 

"No, indeed, I don't think them worth the 

" Oh, but I am sure you are ; only I interrupted 

I went on no farther with the argument, and 
Miss Thrale proposed our walking out to meet her 
mother. We all agreed ; and Mr. Crutchley would 
not be satisfied without walking next me, though 
I really had no patience to talk with him, and 
wished him at Jericho. 

" What's the matter ? " said he ; " have you had 
a quarrel ? " 

" No." 

" Are you affronted ? " 

Not a word. Then again he called to Miss 

" Why, Queeny — why, she's quite in a rage ! 
What have you done to her ? " 

I still sulked on, vexed to be teased ; but, 
though, with a gaiety that showed he had no 
suspicion of the cause, he grew more and more 
urgent, trying every means to make me tell him 
what was the matter, till at last, much provoked, 
I said, 

"I must be strangely in want of a confidant, 
indeed, to take you for one ! " 

" Why, what an insolent speech ! " cried he, 
half serious and half laughing, but casting up his 
eyes and hands with astonishment. 

He then let me be quiet some time, but in a 
few minutes renewed his inquiries with added 
eagerness, begging me to tell him if nobody else. 

A likely matter ! thought I ; nor did I scruple 


to tell him, when forced to answer, that no one 
had so little chance of success in such a request. 

" Why so ? " cried he ; " for I am the best 
person in the world to trust with a secret, as I 
always forget it." 

He continued working at me till we joined 
Mrs. Thrale and the Attorney- General. And then 
Miss Thrale, stimulated by him, came to inquire 
if I had really taken anything amiss of her. No, 
I assured her. 

"Is it of me, then ? " cried Mr. Crutchley, as 
if sure I should say no ; but I made no other 
answer than desiring him to desist questioning 

" So I will," cried he ; " only clear me, — only say 
it is not me." 

" I shall say nothing about the matter ; so do 
pray be at rest." 

" Well, but it can't be me, I know : only say 
that. It's Queeny, I daresay." 

" No, indeed." 

" Then it's you," cried Miss Thrale ; " and I'm 
glad of it, with all my heart ! " 

He then grew quite violent, and at last went on 
with his questions till, by being quite silent to 
them, he could no longer doubt who it was. He 
seemed then wholly amazed, and entreated to know 
what he had done ; but I tried only to avoid him, 
and keep out of his way. 

Soon after the Attorney-General took his leave, 
during which ceremony Mr. Crutchley, coming 
behind me, exclaimed, 

"Who'd think of this creature's having any 
venom in her ! " 

" Oh yes," answered I, " when she's provoked." 

" But have / provoked you ? " 
Again I got off. Taking Miss Thrale by the 
arm, we hurried away, leaving him with Mrs. 
vol. i 2 I 


Thrale and Miss Owen. He was presently, how- 
ever, with us again ; and when he came to my 
side, and found me really trying to talk of other 
matters with Miss Thrale, and avoid him, he called 

" Upon my life, this is too bad ! Do tell me, 
Miss Burncy, what is the matter ? If you won't, I 
protest I'll call Mrs. Thrale, and make her work at 
you herself." 

I now, in my turn, entreated he would not ; for 
I knew she was not to be safely trusted with 
anything she could turn into ridicule. I was, 
therefore, impatient to have the whole matter 
dropped ; and after assuring him very drily, yet 
peremptorily, that I should never satisfy him, I 
started another subject with Miss Thrale, and we 
walked quietly on. 

He exclaimed, with a vehemence that amazed 
me in return, " Why will you not tell me ? Upon 
my life, if you refuse me any longer, I'll call the 
whole house to speak for me ! " 

" I assure you," answered I, " that will be to 
no purpose ; for I must offend myself by telling it, 
and therefore I shall mention it to nobody." 

" But what in the world have I done ? " 

" Nothing ; you have done nothing." 

" What have I said, then ? Only let me beg 
your pardon, — only let me know what it is, that I 
may beg your pardon." 

I then took up the teasing myself, and quite 
insisted upon his leaving us and joining Mrs. 
Thrale. He begged me to tell Miss Thrale, and 
let her mediate, and entreated her to be his agent ; 
which, in order to get rid of him, she promised ; and 
he then slackened his pace, though very reluctantly, 
while we quickened ours. 

Miss Thrale, however, asked me not a question, 
which I was very glad of, as the affair, trifling as 


it is, would be but mortifying to mention ; and 
though I could not, when so violently pressed, 
disguise my resentment, I was by no means 
disposed to make any serious complaint. I merely 
wished to let the gentleman know I was not so 
much his humble servant as to authorise even the 
smallest disrespect from him. 

He was however, which I very little expected, 
too uneasy to stay long away ; and when we 
had walked on quite out of hearing of Mrs. 
Thrale and Miss Owen, he suddenly galloped 
after us. 

" How odd it is of you," said Miss Thrale, " to 
come and intrude yourself in this manner upon 
anybody that tries so to avoid you ! " 

" Have you done anything for me ? " cried he ; 
" I don't believe you have said a word." 

" Not I, truly ! " answered she ; " if I can keep 
my own self out of scrapes, it's all I can pretend 

" Well, but do tell me, Miss Burney, — pray tell 
me ! indeed, this is quite too bad ; I shan't have a 
wink of sleep all night. If I have offended you, I 
am very sorry indeed ; but I am sure I did not 
mean " 

" No, sir ! " interrupted I, " I don't suppose you 
did mean to offend me, nor do I know why you 
should. I expect from you neither good nor ill, — 
civility I think myself entitled to, and that is all I 
have any desire for." 

" Good Heaven ! " exclaimed he. " Tell me, 
however, but what it is, and if I have said any- 
thing unguardedly, I am extremely sorry, and I 
most sincerely beg your pardon." 

Is it not very strange that any man, in the same 
day, could be so disdainfully proud and so con- 
descendingly humble ? I was never myself more 
astonished, as I had been firmly persuaded he would 


not have deigned to take the smallest notice of me 
from the moment of his hearing Sir Philip's idle 

I now grew civiller, for I dreaded his urgency, 
as it was literally impossible for me to come to the 

I told him, therefore, that I was sorry he took so 
much trouble, which I had by no means intended to 
give him, and begged he would think of it no more. 

He was not, however, to be so dismissed. Again 
he threatened me with Mrs. Thrale, but again I 
assured him nothing could less answer to him. 

"Well, but," cried he, "if you will not let me 
know my crime, why, I must never speak to you 
any more." 

" Very well," answered I, " if you please we will 
proclaim a mutual silence henceforward." 

" Oh," cried he, " you, I suppose, will be ready 
enough ; but to me that would be a loss of very 
great pleasure. If you would tell me, however, I 
am sure I could explain it off, because I am sure 
it has been done undesignedly." 

" No, it does not admit of any explanation ; so 
pray don't mention it any more." 

" Only tell me what part of the day it was." 

Whether this unconsciousness was real, or only 
to draw me in so that he might come to the point, 
and make his apology with greater ease, I know 
not ; but I assured him it was in vain he asked, 
and again desired him to puzzle himself with no 
further recollections. 

"Oh," cried he, "but I shall think of everything 
I have ever said to you for this half year. I am 
sure, whatever it was, it must have been unmeant 
and unguarded." 

" That, sir, I never doubted ; and probably you 
thought me hard enough to hear anything without 
minding it." 


" Good Heaven, Miss Burney ! why, there is 
nobody I would not sooner offend, — nobody in 
the world ! Queeny knows it. If Queeny would 
speak, she could tell you so. Is it not true, Miss 

"I shall say nothing about it; if I can keep 
my own neck out of the collar, it's enough 
for me." 

" But won't it plead something for me that you 
are sure, and must be sure, it was by blunder, and 
not design ? " 

" Indeed I am sorry you take all this trouble, 
which is very little worth your while ; so do pray 
say no more." 

"But will you forgive me ? " 


" It seems to come very hard from you. Will 
you promise to have quite forgiven it by the time 
I return next Thursday ? " 

" Oh, I hope I shall have no remembrance of 
any part of it before then. I am sorry you know 
anything about it ; and if you had not been so 
excessively earnest, I should never have let you ; 
but I could not say an untruth when pushed so 

" I hope, then, it will be all dissipated by 
to-morrow morning." 

" Oh, surely ! I should be very much surprised 
if it outlasted the night." 

" Well, but then will you be the same ? I never 
saw such a change. If you are serious " 

" Oh no, I'll be wondrous merry ! " 

" I beg you will think no more of it. I — I 
believe I know what it is ; and, indeed, I was far 
from meaning to give you the smallest offence, and 
I most earnestly beg your pardon. There is nothing 
I would not do to assure you how sorry I am. 
But I hope it will be all over by the time the candles 


come. I shall look to see, and I hope — I beg — 
you will have the same countenance again." 

I now felt really appeased, and so I told him. 

We then talked of other matters till we reached 
home, though it was not without difficulty I could 
even yet keep him quiet. I then ran upstairs with 
my cloak, and stayed till supper-time, when I re- 
turned without, I hope, any remaining appearance 
of dudgeon in my phiz ; for after so much trouble 
and humiliation, it would have been abominable to 
have shown any. 

I see, besides, that Mr. Crutchley, though of a 
cold and proud disposition, is generous, amiable, 
and delicate, and, when not touched upon the 
tender string of gallantry, concerning which he 
piques himself upon invariable hardness and im- 
movability, his sentiments are not merely just, but 

After supper, Mr. Crutchley, though he spoke 
to me two or three times with an evident intention 
to observe my looks and manner in answering him, 
which were both meant to be much as usual, seemed 
still dissatisfied both with his own justification and 
my appeasement ; and when we all arose to go to 
bed, he crossed over to me, and said in a whisper, 
" I have begged Miss Thrale to intercede for me ; 
she will explain all ; and I hope " 

" Very well — very well," said I, in a horrible 
hurry ; "there is no occasion for anything more." 

For Mrs. and Miss Thrale, and Miss Owen, were 
all standing waiting for me : he put himself, how- 
ever, before me, so that I could not get away, and 
went on : — 

" Only hear me, — pray hear me. Is it what 
she (pointing to Mrs. Thrale) put about in the 
morning ? " 

" I'll tell you another time," cried I, in fifty 


agonies to see how they were all ready to titter, 
which he, whose back was to them, perceived not. 

"I have told Miss Thrale what I thought it 
was," he continued, " and she will explain it all, 
and tell you how very impossible it was I could 
think of offending you. Indeed, I beg your pardon I 
I do, indeed, most sincerely. I hope you will think 
of it no more, — I hope it will be all over." 

" It is all over," cried I, still trying to get away. 

" Well, but — stop — only tell me if it was 
that " 

"Ay — ay — to-morrow morning"; and then I 
forced myself into the midst of them, and got off.] 

Streatham, Thursday. — This was the great and 
most important day to all this house, upon which 
the sale of the Brewery was to be decided. Mrs. 
Thrale went early to town, to meet all the execu- 
tors, and Mr. Barclay, the Quaker, who was the 
bidder} She was in great agitation of mind, and 
told me if all went well she would wave a white 
pocket-handkerchief out of the coach window. 

Four o'clock came and dinner was ready, and 
no Mrs. Thrale. Five o'clock followed, and no 
Mrs. Thrale. Queeny and I went out upon the 
lawn, where we sauntered, in eager expectation, 
till near six, and then the coach appeared in sight, 
and a white pocket-handkerchief was waved 
from it. 

1 David Barclay, the head of a banking firm in Lombard Street. He 
gave £135,000 for Thrale 's brewery, and put his nephew Robert Barclay 
into the business with Thrale's superintendent, Perkins. Perkins, it seems, 
found the purchasers when Mrs. Thrale and her coadjutors (see ante, 
p. 472) were fast brewing themselves into bankruptcy, and she personally 
had been keeping " the counting-house from nine o'clock every morning 
till five o'clock every evening." At length Perkins, upon whom every one 
depended, was bribed by her with the offer of the Borough house for his 
wife (see ante, p. 421 n.), and brought forward the Barclays as bidders. 
" Among all my fellow-executors," says Mrs. Thrale, " none but Johnson 
opposed selling the concern." He "found some odd delight in signing 
drafts for hundreds and for thousands, to him a new, and as it appeared, 
delightful occupation " (Hay ward's Autobiography of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale), 
2nd ed. 1861, ii. pp. 47-48). 


I ran to the door of it to meet her, and she 
jumped out of it, and gave me a thousand embraces 
while I gave my congratulations. We went in- 
stantly to her dressing-room, where she told me, 
in brief, how the matter had been transacted, and 
then we went down to dinner. 

Dr. Johnson and Mr. Crutchley had accom- 
panied her home. I determined to behave to Mr. 
Crutchley the same as before our quarrel, though 
he did not so to me, for he hardly spoke a word to 
me. An accident, however, happened after dinner, 
which made him for a while more loquacious. 
Mrs. Thrale, in cutting some fruit, had cut her 
finger, and asked me for some black sticking- 
plaster, and as I gave it her out of my pocket-book, 
she was struck with the beautiful glossiness of the 
paper of a letter which peeped out of it, and rather 
waggishly asked me who wrote to me with so much 
elegant attention ? 

"Mrs. Gast," answered I. 

" Oh," cried she, " do pray then let me see her 

I showed it her, and she admired it very justly, 
and said, 

" Do show it to Mr. Crutchley ; 'tis a mighty 
genteel hand indeed." 

I complied, but took it from him as soon as he 
had looked at it. Indeed, he is the last man in the 
world to have even desired to read any letter not 
to himself. 

Dr. Johnson now, who, too deaf to hear what 
was saying, wondered what we were thus handing 
about, asked an explanation. 

" Why, we are all," said Mrs. Thrale, " admiring 
the hand of Fanny's Mr. Crisp's sister." 

" And mayn't I admire it too ? " cried he. 

" Oh yes," said she ; " show it him, Burney." 

I put it in his hand, and he instantly opened 


and began reading it. Now though there was 
nothing in it but what must reflect honour upon 
Mrs. Gast, she had charged me not to show it ; 
and, also, it was so very flattering to me, that I 
was quite consternated at this proceeding, and 
called out, 

" Sir, it was only to show you the handwriting, 
and you have seen enough for that." 

" I shall know best myself," answered he, 
laughing, "when I have seen enough." 

And he read on. The truth is I am sure he 
took it for granted they had all read it, for he had 
not heard a word that had passed. 

I then gave Mrs. Thrale a reproachful glance 
for what she had done, and she jumped up, and 
calling out, 

" So I have done mischief, I see ! " and ran out of 
the room, followed by Queeny. I stayed hovering 
over the Doctor to recover my property ; but the 
minute the coast was clear, Mr. Crutchley, taking 
advantage of his deafness, said, 

" Well, ma'am, I hope we are now friends ? " 

" Yes ! " cried I. 

" And is it all quite over ? " 


" Why, then, do pray," cried he, laughing, " be 
so good as to let me know what was our quarrel ? " 

" No — no, I shan't ! " (cried I, laughing too, at 
the absurdity of quarrelling and seeming not to 
know what for) : "it is all over, and that is 

" No, by no means enough : I must really beg 
you to tell me ; I am uneasy till I know. Was it 
that silly joke of mine at dinner ? " 

" No, I assure you, it was no joke ! " 

" But was it at dinner, or before dinner ? " 

" Is it not enough that it is over ? I am sorry 
you knew anything of the matter, and I am obliged 


to you for taking so much trouble about it ; so 
there let it rest." 

" But pray do tell me ! — if only that I may be 
more on my guard another time." 

" No, pray," cried I, in my turn, " don't be on 
your guard ; for if you are, I shall suppose you 
have taken the resentment up where I have laid 
it down." 

" That I won't do, indeed," said he ; " but I 
merely wish to beg your pardon : and I think 
my earnestness must at least have convinced you 
how very sorry I am to have given you any 

[Here Dr. Johnson returned me my letter, with 
very warm praise of its contents. Mrs. Gast would 
not only have forgiven me, but have been much 
delighted had she heard his approbation of all she 
had written to me. 

Mr. Crutchley, never satisfied, again began his 
entreaties that I would " come to the point," while 
I was putting up my letter ; but I hurried out of 
the room without any new answer, though he called 
after me, 

" I shan't rest, Miss Burney, till you tell me ! " 

It cannot be, all this time, that he does not 
know ; he merely wants me to mention the matter 
myself, that with a better grace he may apologise 
about it. However, I shall certainly not give him 
that assistance, though far from bearing him any 
malice. I think of him as well as I did before the 
fracas ; for however his pride of indifference urged 
him so to fly out, it is evident he could half murder 
himself with self-anger that he has given any cause 
of displeasure.] 

Friday. — Miss Thrale, Dr. Johnson, Mr. 
Crutchley, and myself, went to town ; and, having 
set down Dr. Johnson at his own house, we went 
to Bond Street for Miss Owen, and proceeded to 


the exhibition. I think I need not describe the 
pictures. 1 

Miss Owen returned with us to Streatham ; Mr. 
Crutchley recovered his spirits, and we all did very 
well. But in the afternoon, just as we had finished 
tea, Mr. Crutchley said to Mrs. Thrale, 

" Ma'am, I must beg a private conference with 

" With me ? " cried she ; " I thought now I had 
parted with my brewhouse, all our conferences 
were over." 

" No," said he, " one more, just to take leave of 

Away they went, and when they returned he 
said it was something about Queeny, who, however, 
never inquired what. I should not have mentioned 
this, but that the next morning — 

Saturday. — Mrs. Thrale, who sleeps in the next 
room to mine, called me to her bedside, and said, 

" Now, my dearest Tyo, 2 you know not how I 
hate to keep from you anything. Do you love me 
well enough to bear to hear something you will 
mortally dislike, without hating me for it ? " 

" What on earth could I hate you for ? " cried I. 

" Nay, 'tis no fault of mine ; but still it is owing 
to me, and I dread to tell you lest it should make 
you sorry for your kindness to me." 

I was quite out of breath at this preparation ; 
and though I warmly and truly, I am sure, pro- 
tested that nothing upon earth could lessen my 
affection for her, I was really afraid to ask what 
was next to follow. 

" I am as sorry," continued she, " as I can live, 

1 See ante, p. 466. 

2 When Lieutenant Burney accompanied Captain Cook to Otaheite, 
each of the English sailors was adopted as a brother by some one of 
the natives. The ceremony consisted in rubbing noses together, and 
exchanging the appellation of Tyo, or Taio, which signified chosen friend. 
This title was sometimes playfully given to Miss Burney by Mrs. Thrale 
[Mrs. Barrett's note]. 


that anything should give you any disturbance, 
but most especially anything that relates to me. 
I would give you, if I could, nothing but pleasure, 
for I am sure I receive nothing else from you. 
Pray, then, don't let any malice, or impertinence, 
or ridicule, make you hate me ; for I saw, and you 
know told you long ago, the world would be ill- 
natured enough to try to part us ; but let it not 
succeed, for it is worth neither of our attentions." 

" On my part, I am sure, it cannot succeed," 
cried I, more and more alarmed ; " for I am yours 
for ever and for ever, and now almost whether I 
will or not." 

" I hope so," cried she, " for I am sure no one 
can love you more ; and I am sorry, and grieved, 
and enraged that your affection and kindness 
for me should bring you any uneasiness. We are 
all sorry, indeed ; Queeny is very sorry, and Mr. 
Crutchley is very sorry " 

"You make me more and more afraid," said I ; 
" but pray tell me what it all means ? " 

" Why you know Mr. Crutchley yesterday called 
me out of the room to tell me a secret ; well, this 
was to show me a paragraph he had just read in 
the newspaper, ' And do, ma'am,' says he, ' have 
the newspaper burnt, or put somewhere safe out of 
Miss Burney's way ; for I am sure it will vex her 
extremely.' " 

Think if this did not terrify me pretty hand- 
somely. I turned sick as death. She gave me the 
paper, and I read the following paragraph : — 

"Miss Burney, the sprightly writer of the 
elegant novel, Evelina, is now domesticated with 
Mrs. Thrale, in the same manner that Miss More 
is with Mrs. Garrick, and Mrs. Carter with Mrs. 

The preparation for this had been so very alarm- 
ing, that little as I liked it, I was so much afraid 


of something still worse, that it really was a relief 
to me to see it ; and Mrs. Thrale's excess of tender- 
ness and delicacy about it was such as to have made 
me amends for almost anything. I promised, there- 
fore, to take it like a man ; and, after thanking her 
with the sincerest gratitude for her infinite kindness, 
we parted to dress. 

It is, however, most insufferably impertinent to 
be thus dragged into print, notwithstanding every 
possible effort and caution to avoid it. There is 
nothing, merely concerning myself, that can give 
me greater uneasiness ; for there is nothing I have 
always more dreaded, or more uniformly endeavoured 
to avoid. 

I think myself, however, much obliged to Mr. 
Crutchley for his very good-natured interference 
and attempt to save me this vexation, which is an 
attention I by no means expected from him. He 
has scolded Mrs. Thrale since, she says, for having 
told me, because he perceived it had lowered my 
spirits ; but she thought it most likely I should 
hear it from those who would tell it me with less 
tenderness, and, therefore, had not followed his 

Sunday. — We had Mr. and Mrs. Davenant here. 
They are very lively and agreeable, and I like them 
more and more. Mrs. Davenant is one of the 
saucy women of the ton, indeed ; but she has good 
parts, and is gay and entertaining ; and her sposo, 
who passionately adores her, though five years 
her junior, is one of the best- tempered and most 
pleasant- charactered young men imaginable. 

I had new specimens to-day of the oddities of 
Mr. Crutchley, whom I do not yet quite understand, 
though I have seen so much of him. In the course 
of our walks to-day we chanced, at one time, to be 
somewhat before the rest of the company, and soon 
got into a very serious conversation ; though we 


began it by his relating a most ludicrous incident 
which had happened to him last winter. 

There is a certain poor wretch of a villainous 
painter, one Mr. Lowe, 1 who is in some measure 
under Dr. Johnson's protection, and whom, there- 
fore, he recommends to all the people he thinks 
can afford to sit for their pictures. Among these, 
he made Mr. Seward very readily, and then applied 
to Mr. Crutchley. 

" But now," said Mr. Crutchley, as he told me 
the circumstance, " I have not a notion of sitting 
for my picture, — for who wants it ? I may as well 
give the man the money without ; but no, they all 
said that would not do so well, and Dr. Johnson 
asked me to give him my picture. ' And I assure 
you, sir,' says he, ' I shall put it in very good com- 
pany, for I have portraits of some very respectable 
people in my dining-room.' ' Ay, sir,' says I, ' that's 
sufficient reason why you should not have mine, 
for I am sure it has no business in such society/ 
So then Mrs. Thrale asked me to give it to 
her. 'Ay sure, ma'am,' says I, 'you do me great 
honour ; but pray, first, will you do me the favour 
to tell me what door you intend to put it behind ? ' 
However, after all I could say in opposition, I was 
obliged to go to the painter's. And I found him 
in such a condition ! a room all dirt and filth, brats 
squalling and wrangling, up two pair of stairs, and 
a closet, of which the door was open, that Seward 
well said was quite Pandora's box — it was the 
repository of all the nastiness, and stench, and filth, 

and food, and drink, and oh, it was too bad to 

be borne ! and ' Oh ! ' says I, ' Mr. Lowe, I beg 
your pardon for running away, but I have just 
recollected another engagement ' ; so I poked the 

1 Mauritius Lowe, 1746-93. In spite of Miss Burney's adjective, he 
was a gold medallist, had studied in Rome, and exhibited at the Royal 
Academy. Johnson befriended him ; but he was idle, and neglected to 
improve the talent he had. 


three guineas in his hand, and told him I would 
come again another time, and then ran out of the 
house with all my might." 

Well, when we had done laughing about this 
poor unfortunate painter, the subject turned upon 
portraits in general, and our conference grew very 
grave : on his part it soon became even melancholy. 
I have not time to dialogue it ; but he told me he 
could never bear to have himself the picture of any 
one he loved, as, in case of their death or absence, 
he should go distracted by looking at it ; and that, 
as for himself, he never had, and never would sit 
for his own, except for one miniature by Hum- 
phreys, 1 which his sister begged of him, as he could 
never flatter himself there was a human being in 
the world to whom it could be of any possible 
value : "And now," he added, "less than ever ! " 

This, and various other speeches to the same 
purpose, he spoke with a degree of dejection that 
surprised me, as the coldness of his character, 
and his continually boasted insensibility, made me 
believe him really indifferent both to love and 

After this we talked of Mrs. Davenant. 

" She is very agreeable," said I, "I like her 
much. Don't you ? " 

"Yes, very much," said he; "she is lively and 
entertaining " ; and then a moment after, " 'Tis 
wonderful," he exclaimed, "that such a thing as 
that can captivate a man ! " 

"Nay," cried I, "nobody more, for her husband 
quite adores her." 

" So I find," said he ; " and Mrs. Thrale says 
men in general like her." 

" They certainly do," cried I ; " and all the 
oddity is in you who do not, not in them 
who do." 

1 Ozias Humphry, R.A., 1742-1810, the miniaturist. 


"May be so," answered he, "but it don't do for 
me, indeed." 

We then came to two gates, and there I stopped 
short, to wait till they joined us; and Mr. Crutchley, 
turning about and looking at Mrs. Davenant, as 
she came forward, said, rather in a muttering voice, 
and to himself than to me, " What a thing for an 
attachment ! No, no, it would not do for me ! — 
too much glare ! too much flippancy ! too much 
hoop ! too much gauze ! too much slipper ! too 
much neck ! Oh, hide it ! hide it ! — muffle it up ! 
muffle it up ! If it is but in a fur cloak, I am for 
muffling it all up ! " 

And thus he diverted himself till they came up 
to us. But never, I believe, was there a man who 
could endure so very few people. Even Mrs. and 
Miss Thrale, of whom he is fond to excess, he 
would rather not see than see with other company ! 

Is he not a strange composition ? 

Streatham, June. — I found Dr. Johnson in 
admirable good -humour, and our journey hither 
was extremely pleasant. I thanked him for the 
last batch of his poets, 1 and we talked them over 
almost all the way. 

Sweet Mrs. Thrale received me with her wonted 
warmth of affection, but shocked me by her own 
ill looks, and the increasing alteration in her person, 
which perpetual anxiety and worry have made. I 
found with her Mrs. Lambart and the Rev. Mr. 
Jennings, a young brother of Sir Philip Clerke, and 
Mr. Seward. 

Mrs. Lambart I was much pleased with again 
meeting, for she is going in a few days to Brussels 
with her son, in order to reside for two years. Mr. 
Jennings I was not much charmed with ; but he 
may be a good sort of man for all that, and for all 

1 See ante, p. 443. 


he was somewhat over - facetious, or would have 
been ; for Mrs. Thrale, after running to kiss me, 
introduced me to Sir Philip's brother, who said, 

"Pray, ma'am, may not that fashion go 
round ? " 1 

" No, no, there's no occasion for that," cried I. 

" Oh yes, there is," returned he ; " it may be an 
old-fashioned custom, but I am an old-fashioned 
man, and therefore I rather like it the better. 
Come, Mrs. Thrale, may I not be introduced 
properly to Miss Burney ? " 

"No, no," cried she, while I took care to get 
out of the way, "nobody kisses Miss Burney in 
this house but myself." 

" I have ventured," cried Mr. Seward, " to 
sometimes touch the tip of Miss Burney's little 
finger-nail ; but never farther." 

I then gave Mrs. Thrale some account of my 
visit to Mrs. Byron, which turned the conversa- 
tion ; and presently entered Mr. Crutchley. 

We had a good cheerful day, and in the evening 
Sir Richard Jebb came ; and nothing can I recol- 
lect, but that Dr. Johnson forced me to sit on a 
very small sofa with him, which was hardly large 
enough for himself; and which would have made a 
subject for a print by Harry Bunbury 2 that would 
have diverted all London : ergo, it rejoiceth me 
that he was not present. 

Wednesday. — We had a terrible noisy day. Mr. 
and Mrs. Cator came to dinner, and brought with 
them Miss Collison, a niece. Mrs. Nesbitt 3 was also 
here, and Mr. Pepys. 

The long war which has been proclaimed among 
the wits concerning Lord Lyttelton's Life, by 

1 Cp. Early Diary, 1889, ii. 48, where Miss Burney is kissed " ardu- 
rously " by her would-be suitor, Mr. Thomas Barlow. 

a H. W. Bunbury, the caricaturist, 1750-1811, the husband of Gold- 
smith's " Little Comedy " (Catherine Horneck). 

3 No doubt Mr. Thrale's sister, Mrs. Nesbitt (afterwards Mrs. Scott). 

VOL. I 2 K 


Dr. Johnson, and which a whole tribe of blues, with 
Mrs. Montagu at their head, have vowed to exe- 
crate and revenge, now broke out with all the fury 
of the first actual hostilities, stimulated by long- 
concerted schemes and much spiteful information. 
Mr. Pepys, Dr. Johnson well knew, was one of 
Mrs. Montagu's steadiest abettors ; and, therefore, 
as he had some time determined to defend himself 
with the first of them he met, this day he fell the 
sacrifice to his wrath. 

In a long tete-a-tete which I accidentally had 
with Mr. Pepys before the company was assembled, 
he told me his apprehensions of an attack, and 
entreated me earnestly to endeavour to prevent it ; 
modestly avowing he was no antagonist for Dr. 
Johnson ; and yet declaring his personal friendship 
for Lord Lyttelton made him so much hurt by the 
Life, that he feared he could not discuss the matter 
without a quarrel, which, especially in the house of 
Mrs. Thrale, he wished to avoid. 

It was, however, utterly impossible for me to 
serve him. I could have stopped Mrs. Thrale with 
ease, and Mr. Seward with a hint, had either of 
them begun the subject ; but, unfortunately, in the 
middle of dinner it was begun by Dr. Johnson him- 
self, to oppose whom, especially as he spoke with 
great anger, would have been madness and folly. 

Never before have I seen Dr. Johnson speak with 
so much passion. 

" Mr. Pepys," he cried, in a voice the most 
enraged, " I understand you are offended by my 
Life of Lord Lyttelton. What is it you have to 
say against it ? Come forth, man ! Here am I, 
ready to answer any charge you can bring ! " 

44 No, sir," cried Mr. Pepys, "not at present; I 
must beg leave to decline the subject. I told Miss 
Burney before dinner that I hoped it would not be 


I was quite frightened to hear my own name 
mentioned in a debate which began so seriously ; 
but Dr. Johnson made not to this any answer : he 
repeated his attack and his challenge, and a violent 
disputation ensued, in which this great but mortal 
man did, to own the truth, appear unreasonably 
furious and grossly severe. I never saw him so 
before, and I heartily hope I never shall again. 
He has been long provoked, and justly enough, 
at the sneaking complaints and murmurs of the 
Lytteltonians ; and, therefore, his long - excited 
wrath, which hitherto had met no object, now 
burst forth with a vehemence and bitterness almost 

Mr. Pepys meantime never appeared to so much 
advantage ; he preserved his temper, uttered all 
that belonged merely to himself with modesty, and 
all that more immediately related to Lord Lyttelton 
with spirit. Indeed, Dr. Johnson, in the very 
midst of the dispute, had the candour and liberality 
to make him a personal compliment by saying, 

" Sir, all that you say, while you are vindicating 
one who cannot thank you, makes me only think 
better of you than I ever did before. Yet still I 
think you do me wrong," etc., etc. 

Some time after, in the heat of the argument, he 
called out, 

" The more my Lord Lyttelton is inquired after, 
the worse he will appear ; Mr. Seward has just 
heard two stories of him, which corroborate all 
I have related." 

He then desired Mr. Seward to repeat them. 
Poor Mr. Seward looked almost as frightened as 
myself at the very mention of his name ; but he 
quietly and immediately told the stories, which 
consisted of fresh instances, from good authorities, 
of Lord Lyttelton's illiberal behaviour to Shen- 
stone ; and then he flung himself back in his chair, 


and spoke no more during the whole debate, which 
I am sure he was ready to vote a bore. 

One happy circumstance, however, attended the 
quarrel, which was the presence of Mr. Cator, who 
would by no means be prevented talking himself, 
either by reverence for Dr. Johnson, or ignorance 
of the subject in question ; on the contrary, he 
gave his opinion, quite uncalled, upon everything 
that was said by either party, and that with an 
importance and pomposity, yet with an emptiness 
and verbosity, that rendered the whole dispute, 
when in his hands, nothing more than ridiculous, 
and compelled even the disputants themselves, 
all inflamed as they were, to laugh. To give a 
specimen — one speech will do for a thousand. 

" As to this here question of Lord Lyttelton, I 
can't speak to it to the purpose, as I have not read 
his Life, for I have only read the Life of Pope ; I 
have got the books though, for I sent for them last 
week, and they came to me on Wednesday, and 
then I began them ; but I have not yet read Lord 
Lyttelton. Pope I have begun, and that is what 
I am now reading. But what I have to say about 
Lord Lyttelton is this here : Mr. Seward says that 
Lord Lyttelton's steward dunned Mr. Shenstone 
for his rent, by which I understand he was a tenant 
of Lord Lyttelton's. Well, if he was a tenant 
of Lord Lyttelton's, why should not he pay his 

Who could contradict this ? 

When dinner was quite over, and we left the 
men to their wine, we hoped they would finish the 
affair ; but Dr. Johnson was determined to talk it 
through, and make a battle of it, though Mr. 
Pepys tried to be off continually. When they 
were all summoned to tea, they entered still warm 
and violent. Mr. Cator had the book in his hand, 
and was reading the Life of Lyttelton, that he 


might better, he said, understand the cause, though 
not a creature cared if he had never heard of it. 

Mr. Pepys came up to me and said, 

" Just what I had so much wished to avoid ! 
I have been crushed in the very onset." 

I could make him no answer, for Dr. Johnson 
immediately called him off, and harangued and 
attacked him with a vehemence and continuity 
that quite concerned both Mrs. Thrale and myself, 
and that made Mr. Pepys, at last, resolutely silent, 
however called upon. 

This now grew more unpleasant than ever ; till 
Mr. Cator, having some time studied his book, 

" What I am now going to say, as I have 
not yet read the Life of Lord Lyttelton quite 
through, must be considered as being only said 
aside, because what I am going to say " 

" I wish, sir," cried Mrs. Thrale, " it had been all 
set aside ; here is too much about it, indeed, and I 
should be very glad to hear no more of it." 

This speech, which she made with great spirit 
and dignity, had an admirable effect. Every- 
body was silenced. Mr. Cator, thus interrupted 
in the midst of his proposition, looked quite 
amazed ; Mr. Pepys was much gratified by the 
interference ; and Dr. Johnson, after a pause, 

" Well, madam, you shall hear no more of it ; 
yet I will defend myself in every part and in every 

And from this time the subject was wholly 
dropped. This dear violent Doctor was conscious 
he had been wrong, and therefore he most candidly 
bore the reproof. 

Mr. Cator, after some evident chagrin at having 
his speech thus rejected, comforted himself by 
coming up to Mr. Seward, who was seated next 


me, to talk to him of the changes of the climates 
from hot to could in the countries he had visited ; 
and he prated so much, yet said so little, and 
pronounced his words so vulgarly, that I found it 
impossible to keep my countenance, and was once, 
when most unfortunately he addressed himself to 
me, surprised by him on the full grin. To soften 
it off as well as I could, I pretended unusual 
complacency, and instead of recovering my gravity, 
I continued a most ineffable smile for the whole 
time he talked, which was indeed no difficult task. 
Poor Mr. Seward was as much off his guard as 
myself, having his mouth distended to its fullest 
extent every other minute. 

When the leave-taking time arrived, Dr. John- 
son called to Mr. Pepys to shake hands, an invita- 
tion which was most coldly and forcibly accepted. 1 
Mr. Cator made a point of Mrs. Thrale's dining 
at his house soon, and she could not be wholly 
excused, as she has many transactions with him ; 
but she fixed the day for three weeks hence. 
They have invited me so often, that I have now 
promised not to fail making one. 

Thursday morning. — Dr. Johnson went to 
town for some days, but not before Mrs. Thrale 
read him a very serious lecture upon giving way 
to such violence ; which he bore with a patience 
and quietness that even more than made his 

1 Mr. Pepys's account of this unpleasant incident is given in a letter to 
Mrs. Montagu at this date — " The moment the cloth was removed, he 
[Johnson] challenged me to come out (as he called it) and say what I had 
to object to in his Life of Lord Lyttelton. ... I could not but obey, and 
so to it we went for three or four hours without ceasing. He once observed 
that it was the duty of a biographer to state all the failings of a respectable 
character. We shook hands, however, at parting ; which put me much 
in mind of the parting between Jaques and Orlando — ' God be with you ; 
let us meet as seldom as we can ! Fare you well ; I hope we shall be 
better strangers ! ' " The combatants were apparently reconciled two 
months later (see vol. ii., under August 1781). See also vol. ii., under 
December 1783, where Miss Burney gives an account of the engagement 
to Mr. George Cambridge. People, who now read the Doctor's short 
account of Lyttelton, will perhaps wonder what the dispute was about. 


peace with me ; for such a man's confessing him- 
self wrong is almost more amiable than another 
man being steadily right. 

Friday, June 14. — We had my dear father and 
Sophy Streatfield, who, as usual, was beautiful, 
caressing, amiable, sweet, and — fatiguing. 

Sunday, June 16. — This morning, after church, 
we had visits from the Pitches, and afterwards 
from the Attorney -General and Mrs. Wallace, 1 
his wife, who is a very agreeable woman. And 
here I must give you a little trait of Mr. 
Crutchley, whose solid and fixed character I am 
at this moment unable to fathom, much as I have 
seen of him. 

He has an aversion, not only to strangers, but 
to the world in general, that I never yet saw quite 
equalled. I at first attributed it to shyness, but 
I now find it is simply disgust. To-day at noon, 
while I was reading alone in the library, he came 
in, and amused himself very quietly in the same 
manner ; but, upon a noise which threatened 
an intrusion, he started up, and as the Pitches 
entered, he hastened away. After this, the 
Wallaces came, from whom he kept equally 
distant ; but when we all went out to show the 
Attorney -General the hot-houses and kitchen- 
gardens, he returned, I suppose, to the library, 
for there, when we came back, we found him 
reading. He instantly arose, and was retreating, 
but stopped upon my telling him in passing that 
his particular enemy, Mr. Merlin, was just arrived; 
and then some nonsense passing among us con- 
cerning poor Merlin and Miss Owen, he conde- 
scended to turn back and take a chair. He sat 
then, as usual when with much company, quite 
silent, till Mr. Wallace began talking of the 
fatigue he had endured at the birthday, from 

1 See ante, p. 479. 


the weight and heat of his clothes, which were 
damask and gold, belonging to his place, and of the 
haste he was in to get at the Queen, that he might 
speak to her Majesty, and make his escape from so 
insufferable a situation as the heat, incommodious- 
ness, and richness of his dress, had put him into. 

"Well, sir," interrupted Mr. Crutchley, in the 
midst of this complaint, to which he had listened 
with evident contempt, "but you had at least the 
pleasure of showing this dress at the levee ! " 

This unexpected sarcasm instantly put an end 
to the subject, and when I afterwards spoke of it 
to Mr. Crutchley, and laughed at his little respect 
for " an officer of the state " — 

" Oh ! " cried he, " nothing makes me so sick as 
hearing such ostentatious complaints ! The man 
has but just got the very dress he has been all his 
life working for, and now he is to parade about its 
inconvenience ! " 

This is certainly a good and respectable spirit, 
though not much calculated to make its possessor 

We had afterwards a good deal of sport with 
Merlin, who again stayed dinner, and was as 
happy as a prince ; but Mr. Crutchley plagued me 
somewhat by trying to set him upon attacking 
me ; which, as I knew his readiness to do better 
than I chose to confess, was not perfectly to 
my taste. Once, when Piozzi was making me 
some most extravagant compliments, upon Heaven 
knows what of accomplishments and perfections, 
which he said belonged to the whole famille 
JSorni, and was challenging me to speak to him 
in Italian, which I assured him I could not do, 
Merlin officiously called out, 

" O, je vous assure, Mile. Burney n'ignore rien ; 
mais elle est si modeste quelle ne veut pas, c'est 
a dire, parler." 


And soon after, when a story was told of some- 
body's sins, which I have forgotten, Merlin, en- 
couraged again by some malicious contrivance 
of Mr. Crutchley's to address himself to me, 
called out aloud, and very malapropos, "Pour 
Mile. Burney, c'est une demoiselle qui n'a jamais 
peche du tout." 

" No, I hope not," said I, in a low voice to 
Miss Thrale, while they were all holloaing at this 
oddity ; "at least if I had, I think I would not 

" Tell him so," cried Mr. Crutchley. 

" No, no," cried I, "pray let him alone." 

" Do you hear, Mr. Merlin," cried he then aloud ; 
" Miss Burney says if she has sinned, she will not 

" Oh, sir ! " answered Merlin, simpering, " for 
the modest ladies, they never do confess, because, 
that is, they have not got nothing to confess." 

During the dessert, mention was made of my 
father's picture, when this ridiculous creature 

" Oh ! for that picture of Dr. Burney, Sir 
Joshua Reynhold has not taken pains, that is, to 
please me ! I do not like it. Mr. Gainsborough 
has done one much more better of me, which is 
very agreeable indeed. 1 I wish it had been at the 
Exhibition, for it would have done him a great deal 
of credit indeed." 

There was no standing the absurdity of this 
" agreeable," and we all laughed heartily, and Mrs. 
Thrale led the way for our leaving the room. 

" Oh ! " cried Merlin, half piqued, and half 
grinning from sympathy, "I assure you there is 
not nothing does make me so happy, that is, as to 
see the ladies so pleased ! " 

Monday, June 17. — There passed, some time 

1 See ante, p. 458. 


ago, an agreement between Mr. Crutchley and 
Mr. Seward, that the latter is to make a visit to 
the former, at his country-house in Berkshire; 1 
and to-day the time was settled : but a more 
ridiculous scene never was exhibited. The host 
elect and the guest elect tried which should show 
least expectation of pleasure from the meeting, 
and neither of them thought it at all worth 
while to disguise his terror of being weary of the 
other. Mr. Seward seemed quite melancholy and 
depressed in the prospect of making, and Mr. 
Crutchley absolutely miserable in that of receiving, 
the visit. Yet nothing so ludicrous as the distress 
of both, since nothing less necessary than that 
either should have such a punishment inflicted. 
I cannot remember half the absurd things that 
passed ; but a few, by way of specimen, I will 

"How long do you intend to stay with me, 
Seward ? " cried Mr. Crutchley ; " how long do 
you think you can bear it ? " 

" Oh, I don't know ; I shan't fix," answered 
the other : "just as I find it." 

" Well, but — when shall you come ? Friday 
or Saturday ? I think you'd better not come till 

" Why yes, I believe on Friday." 

" On Friday ! Oh, you'll have too much of 
it ! what shall I do with you ? " 

"Why on Sunday we'll dine at the Lyells'. 
Mrs. Lyell is a charming woman ; one of the 
most elegant creatures I ever saw." 

" Wonderfully so," cried Mr. Crutchley ; " I 
like her extremely — an insipid idiot ! She never 
opens her mouth but in a whisper ; I never heard 
her speak a word in my life. But what must I 
do with you on Monday ? will you come away ? " 

1 At Sunninghill Park. 


" Oh no ; I'll stay and see it out." 

" Why, how long shall you stay ? Why I must 
come away myself on Tuesday." 

"Oh, I shan't settle yet," cried Mr. Seward, 
very drily. u I shall put up six shirts, and then 
do as I find it." 

" Six shirts ! " exclaimed Mr. Crutchley ; and 
then, with equal dryness added — " Oh, I suppose 
you wear two a-day." 

And so on. 



The following account of Boswell at Streatham is printed 
at pp. 190-197 of vol. ii. of the Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 
1832 :— 

Mr. Boswell 

When next, after this adjuration, 1 Dr. Burney took the 
Memorialist back to Streatham, he found there, recently 
arrived from Scotland, Mr. Boswell, whose sprightly Corsican 
tour, and heroic, almost Quixotic, pursuit of General Paoli, 
joined to the tour to the Hebrides with Dr. Johnson, made 
him an object himself of considerable attention. 

He spoke the Scotch accent strongly, though by no means 
so as to affect, even slightly, his intelligibility to an English 
ear. He had an odd, mock solemnity of tone and manner, 
that he had acquired imperceptibly from constantly think- 
ing of and imitating Dr. Johnson, whose own solemnity, 
nevertheless, far from mock, was the result of pensive 
rumination. There was, also, something slouching in the 
gait and dress of Mr. Boswell that wore an air, ridiculously 
enough, of purporting to personify the same model. His 
clothes were always too large for him; his hair, or wig, 
was constantly in a state of negligence ; and he never for a 
moment sat still or upright upon a chair. Every look 
and movement displayed either intentional or involuntary 
imitation. Yet certainly it was not meant as caricature, 

1 This refers to a speech by Johnson in reply to Dr. Burney's com- 
plaint that his daughter had been from home so long. "'Long? no, 
Sir ! I do not think it long,' cried the Doctor, see-sawing, and seizing 
both her hands, as if purporting to detain her : ' Sir ! I would have her 
Always come . . . and Never go ! '" {Memoirs of Dr. Burney, 1832, ii. 



for his heart, almost even to idolatry, was in his reverence of 
Dr. Johnson. 

Dr. Burney was often surprised that this kind of farcical 
similitude escaped the notice of the Doctor, but attributed 
his missing it to a high superiority over any such suspicion 
as much as to his near-sightedness ; for fully was Dr. Burney 
persuaded that had any detection of such imitation taken 
place, Dr. Johnson, who generally treated Mr. Boswell as 
a schoolboy, 1 whom, without the smallest ceremony, he 
pardoned or rebuked, alternately, would so indignantly have 
been provoked as to have instantaneously inflicted upon him 
some mark of his displeasure. And equally he was persuaded 
that Mr. Boswell, however shocked and even inflamed in 
receiving it, would soon, from his deep veneration, have 
thought it justly incurred, and after a day or two of pouting 
and sullenness would have compromised the matter by one of 
his customary simple apologies of " Pray, Sir, forgive me ! w 

Dr. Johnson, though often irritated by the officious 
importunity of Mr. Boswell, was really touched by his 
attachment. It was indeed surprising, and even affecting, to 
remark the pleasure with which this great man accepted 
personal kindness, even from the simplest of mankind ; and 
the grave formality with which he acknowledged it even to 
the meanest. Possibly it was what he most prized, because 
what he could least command ; for personal partiality hangs 
upon lighter and slighter qualities than those which earn 
solid approbation ; but of this, if he had least command, he 
had also least want ; his towering superiority of intellect 
elevating him above all competitors, and regularly establish- 
ing him, wherever he appeared, as the first Being of the 

As Mr. Boswell was at Streatham only upon a morning 
visit, a collation was ordered, to which all were assembled. 
Mr. Boswell was preparing to take a seat that he seemed, by 
prescription, to consider as his own, next to Dr. Johnson ; 
but Mr. Seward, who was present, waved his hand for 
Mr. Boswell to move farther on, saying, with a smile, " Mr. 
Boswell, that seat is Miss Burney 's.*" 

He stared, amazed : the asserted claimant was new and 
unknown to him, and he appeared by no means pleased to 
resign his prior rights. But, after looking round for a 
minute or two with an important air of demanding the 
meaning of this innovation, and receiving no satisfaction, he 

1 Johnson, it may be remembered, was thirty-one years older. 


reluctantly, also resentfully, got another chair, and placed it 
at the back of the shoulder of Dr. Johnson, while this new 
and unheard-of rival quietly seated herself as if not hearing 
what was passing, for she shrunk from the explanation that 
she feared might ensue, as she saw a smile stealing over 
every countenance, that of Dr. Johnson himself not excepted, 
at the discomfiture and surprise of Mr. Boswell. 

Mr. Boswell, however, was so situated as not to remark 
it in the Doctor, and of every one else, when in that 
presence, he was unobservant, if not contemptuous. In 
truth, when he met with Dr. Johnson, he commonly forbore 
even answering anything that was said, or attending to 
anything that went forward, lest he should miss the smallest 
sound from that voice to which he paid such exclusive, 
though merited, homage. But the moment that voice burst 
forth, the attention which it excited in Mr. Boswell 
amounted almost to pain. His eyes goggled with eager- 
ness ; he leant his ear almost on the shoulder of the Doctor ; 
and his mouth dropped open to catch every syllable that 
might be uttered ; nay, he seemed not only to dread losing 
a word, but to be anxious not to miss a breathing, as if 
hoping from it, latently or mystically, some information. 

But when, in a few minutes, Dr. Johnson, whose eye did 
not follow him, and who had concluded him to be at the 
other end of the table, said something gaily and good- 
humouredly by the appellation of Bozzy, and discovered, by 
the sound of the reply, that Bozzy had planted himself as 
closely, as he could behind and between the elbows of the 
new usurper and his own, the Doctor turned angrily round 
upon him, and, clapping his hand rather loudly upon his 
knee, said, in a tone of displeasure, " What do you do there, 
Sir ? Go to the table, Sir ! " 

Mr. Boswell instantly, and with an air of affright, 
obeyed : and there was something so unusual in such humble 
submission to so imperious a command that another smile 
gleamed its way across every mouth except that of the 
Doctor and of Mr. Boswell, who now, very unwillingly, took 
a distant seat. 

But, ever restless when not at the side of Dr. Johnson, 
he presently recollected something that he wished to exhibit, 
and, hastily rising, was running away in its search, when the 
Doctor, calling after him, authoritatively said : " What are 
you thinking of, Sir ? Why do you get up before the cloth 
is removed ? Come back to your place, Sir ! " 


Again, and with equal obsequiousness, Mr. Boswell did 
as he was bid, when the Doctor, pursing his lips not to 
betray rising risibility, muttered half to himself, " Running 
about in the middle of meals ! One would take you for a 
Branghton ! " 

" A Branghton, Sir ? " repeated Mr. Boswell, with earnest- 
ness, " what is a Branghton, Sir ? v 

" Where have you lived, Sir," cried the Doctor, laughing, 
" and what company have you kept not to know that ? " 

Mr. Boswell, now doubly curious, yet always apprehensive 
of falling into some disgrace with Dr. Johnson, said, in a low 
tone, which he knew the Doctor could not hear, to Mrs. 
Thrale, "Pray, Ma'am, what's a Branghton? Do me the 
favour to tell me ? Is it some animal hereabouts ? " 

Mrs. Thrale only heartily laughed, but without answering, 
as she saw one of her guests fearful of an explanation. But 
Mr. Seward cried, " I'll tell you, Boswell, I'll tell you, if you 
will walk with me into the paddock ; only let us wait till 
the table is cleared, or I shall be taken for a Branghton 

They soon went off together, and Mr. Boswell, no doubt, 
was fully informed of the road that had led to the usurpation 
by which he had thus been annoyed. But the Branghton 
fabricator took care to mount to her chamber ere they 
returned; and did not come down till Mr. Boswell was 


Adair, Mr., 467 

Addison, Joseph, 443 

Agreeability, 60 

Agujari, Lucrezia, 156, 304 

Allen, Mrs. Stephen, see Burney, 

Mrs. Elizabeth 
Althorpe, Lord (son of first Earl 

Spencer), 385 
Anecdotes, Seward's, 55 ft. 
Anstey, Christopher, 26, 253, 353, 

354, 373, 377, 380, 384 
Anstey, Mrs., 380 
Anstey, Miss, 380, 383 
Arundel, eighth Lord, 428 
Aubrey, Mrs., 366, 380, 381, 393 

Bacelli, Mile., 271 

Barclay, David, 487 

Baretti, Giuseppe Marc' Antonio, 

76, 185, 186, 265, 435 ; Spanish 

Travels, 243 
Barnard, Dr. Edward, 339 
Barnard, Rt. Rev. Thomas, Bishop 

of Killaloe, 476 
Barrett, Mrs. Charlotte Francis, 

viii, 1 n., 17 ft. , 49 ft. 
Barrington, Vice-Adml. Samuel, 

Barry, James, R.A., 10, 265, 266 
Bartolozzi, 214, 459 
Bate [Sir Henry Bate Dudley], 

Bateson, Mr., 310 
Bath, 323, 326, 327, 329, 333; 

Belvidere, 333, 391,402 ; Spring 

Gardens, 388-390, 392 
Bath-Easton, 382, 415, 417, 420 
Bath-Easton Vase, 186, 328, 393, 

Bath Guide, The New, 26, 353, 373 
Beattie's Immutability of Truth, 399 

Beauclerk, Lady Diana, 283, 294 

Beauclerk, Hon. Topham, 282 

Belvidera, 351 

Benson, Mr. Arthur C, ix 

Benson, Miss, 445, 465 

Bertoni, Ferdinando Giuseppe, 

155, 156, 452 
Bickerstatfe, Isaac, 328 ft. 
Biographiana, Seward's, 55 ft. 
Birch, Miss, 277-280, 312 
Birthday clothes, 117 ft. 
^lue-Stocking Club, 109 ft., 159 ft. 
Bodens, George, 423 
Bodleian librarian, 451 
Bolingbroke, Lord, 399, 419 
Bolt Court, 437 
Bonduca, 57 
Borough (South wark), 421, 427, 

Boswell, James, 199 ft., 467, 509- 

512 ; Johnson, 60 
Bouchier, Captain, 382, 393, 394, 

402, 403, 404, 405, 409, 410, 

" Bounce," Sir John, 436 
Bousfield, Mr. William, ix 
Bowdler, Thomas, 330, 350, 379 
Bowdler, Dr., 461 
Bowdler, Mrs., 338, 348, 350, 351, 

355, 357, 358, 373, 379, 422 
Bowdler, Miss Frances, 330, 338, 

345, 349, 356, 357, 373, 374, 

377, 379, 387, 390, 411, 421 
Bowdler, Miss Henrietta M. , 349, 

379, 390, 392, 402, 416, 417, 

Bowdler, Miss Jane, 350 
Bowen, bookseller, 281, 285, 440 
Bremner, Robert, 169 
Brighton, 183, 281, 295, 426, 436 ; 

Ship Tavern, 219 ft., 282 n. ; 
513 2 L 



Hicks's, 282, 285 ; King's Head, 
221 ; Shergold's,281 ; TheSteyn, 
222, 228, 281, 289 ; Brighton in 
the Olden Time, 217 n., 431 n. 

Brighton road, 216-217, 280 

Brisbane, Captain, 402, 405, 408, 
410, 415, 433 n. 

Bromfield, Dr. , 230 

Brompton, 24, 26 

Brown, Miss Fanny, 80, 87, 88, 
100, 103, 185, 202, 209, 229, 
234, 235 

Bruce, Mr. James, 378 

Bull's Library, 423 

Bunbury, Harry, 167 n. , 497 

Bunbury, Mrs., 167, 173 

Burgoyne, General John, 309, 317 

Burke, Edmund, 107, 110, 113, 
116, 121, 291 

Burke, William, 172, 176, 179, 

Burney, Archdeacon, ix, 193, 
339 n., 458 n. 

Burney, Dr. Charles, father of 
Frances, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 
14, 15, 16, 17, 32, 36, 51, 52, 
54, 55, 60, 74, 85, 98, 125, 
146, 155, 161, 167, 168, 174, 
175, 181, 182, 186, 189, 190, 
193 n., 203, 225, 229, 233, 247, 
254, 257, 263, 315, 331, 334, 
352, 353, 357, 363, 384, 422, 
427, 429, 437, 443, 448, 452, 
455, 458, 459, 505, 509, 510; 
circle of friends, 10 ; History of 
Music, 13, 15 7i., 155, 459 n. 
Letter of, 428 

Burney, Anne, Frances and, 22, 
24, 25, 27 

Burney, Dr. Charles, Frances's 
brother, 5, 6, 15, 23, 27, 61, 
452, 458 n. 

Burney, Charles Rousseau, 29 n., 
42n.,47, 60 

Burney, Miss Charlotte, 5, 8, 24, 
32, 285, 338, 424, 426, 429, 
452, afterwards Mrs. Francis 
Letter of, 429 

Burney, Edward Francis (cousin 
to Frances), 23, 24 n., 338, 361 

Burney, Mrs. Elizabeth (step- 
mother to Frances), 9, 30, 35, 
37, 49, 61, 80, 157, 175, 180, 
186, 267, 452 

Burney, Mrs. (mother of Frances), 

Burney, Miss Esther (Hetty or 
Etty), 6, 8, 9, 29, 30, 34, 
42, 60, 250, 258, 260, 359, 391, 
423, 452 

Burney (Lieut. , Captain, Admiral), 
James, 5, 76, 317, 337, 376, 
437, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 
460 n., 491 n. 

Burney, Richard, uncle to Frances, 

Burney, Richard (cousin to 
Frances), 24, 25, 26, 27, 29 

Burney, Richard Thomas (step- 
brother to Frances), 158, 191 n., 
206, 267, 460 

Burney, Sarah Harriet (step-sister 
to Frances), 30, 31 

Burney, Miss Susan, 5, 6, 8, 12, 
20 n., 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 
34, 35, 39, 41, 43, 73, 186, 195, 
199, 206, 209, 213, 216, 223, 
224, 229, 248, 268, 285, 323, 
324, 401, 407, 444, 447, 452, 
458 n., 459, 460 

Burney, Frances, afterwards 
Madame D'Arblay, birth, 3 ; 
backward as a child, ib. ; mimic, 
shyness, ib. ; cool expostulation 
when a child, 4 ; mother's 
death, 5 ; at school in Queen 
Square, 5 ; home education, 6, 
7 ; her reading, 8 ; character 
when rifteen, 9 ; father's friends, 
10 ; literary attempts, 11 ; in 
King's Lynn, 12 ; Susanna, her 
confidante, 12 ; discouraged by 
stepmother, ib. ; destroys manu- 
scripts and germ of Evelina, 12- 
13 ; renewed efforts, conception 
of Evelina, 13 ; amanuensis for 
Dr. Burney's History of Music, 
13 ; progress of Evelina, 14 ; 
incomplete MS. offered to Mr. 
Dodsley and declined, 15 ; later 
shown to Mr. Lowndes, 15 ; 
offer to print on completion, 
16 ; brother and sister alone in 
secret, 12, 15 ; hint to father, 
16 ; Evelina sold to Lowndes, 
17, 247 n. ; Miss Burney learns 
publication from an advertise- 
ment, 17, 22 n. ; her Memoirs 



of Madame D'Arblay, 17 ; not 
intended for publication, 17 ; 
later instructions, 18 ; dedicates 
her Journal or Memoirs to 
" Nobody/' 19-20; Early Diary, 
20 n., 64 n. ; first publication, 
Evelina, 22 ; her comment on 
Evelina, 26 ; illness, 28 n. ; 
reads Evelina to Mr. Crisp, 29 ; 
evasion of authorship, 31 ; Dr. 
Burney hears its source, 32 ; 
Evelina's success, 35, 43 ; pub- 
lisher ignorant of authoress, 39, 
61 ; secret told Mrs. Thrale, 
46 ; Dr. Johnson's praise, 48 ; 
authorship spread by Mrs. 
Thrale, 50 ; advised to write 
for stage, 48, 51, 90, 98, 101, 
126, 139, 148, 149, 194, 202, 
204, 241 ; first visit to Mrs. 
Thrale, 53-60 ; meets Dr. John- 
son, 56 ; second visit to the 
Thrales, 65 - 102 ; writing a 
comedy, 90, 208 ; Dr. Johnson 
suggests " Streatham — a Farce," 
102 ; meets Mrs. Montagu, 120- 
125 ; second edition of Evelina, 
127 ; dread of personal criticism, 
127-8 ; jest match, 133-135 ; 
urged to employ her talents, 138; 
warned as to posture, 138 ; morti- 
fied at public reference, 161 ; 
heedless of fame, 162 ; visits 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, meets 
Mrs. Cholmondeley, 170-180 ; 
visits Mrs. Cholmondeley, meets 
Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan, 186- 
197 ; Sheridan offers to accept 
compositions for stage, 195 ; 
meets Dr. Warton, 196 ; intro- 
duced to Arthur Murphy, 202 ; 
tenders his advice, 205, 210 ; 
comedy finished, 213, 215, 
252, 255 ; first and second acts 
shown to Mr. Murphy, 215, 
219, 221 ; commences Latin, 
216, 252, 448 ; visits Brighton, 
216-229; her modesty, 247; 
consulted by Dr. Delap, 225 ; 
Dr. Johnson's praise, 247 ; Dr. 
Burney advises suppression of 
MS. comedy (The Witlings), 257 ; 
Mr. Crisp's criticism and advice, 
261-264, 321-323; visits Knole 

and Tunbridge Wells, 273-280 ; 
also Brighton, 280-311 ; shunned 
by Richard Cumberland, 286, 
289, 290, 291, 298; Sheridan 
inquires for her play, 815 ; 
The Witlings again revised, 316 ; 
Mr. Crisp consulted, 316 ; Mr. 
Murphy's interest for her play, 
319-20, 449 ; life at Bath, 327- 
426 ; meets second Lord Mul- 
grave, 336 ; Mrs. Elizabeth 
Carter, 390 ; encounter with a 
lady misanthrope, 395-400, 418- 
419 ; No- Popery riots at Bath, 
421-426 ; travelling by devious 
roads to Brighton, 426-7 ; visits 
Dr. Johnson in town, 437 ; also 
Sir J. Reynolds, 438-9; her 
view of Johnson's Lives of the 
Poets, 443 ; illness, 444, 448, 
449, 459, 460, 462; at Brighton, 
445 ; visited by Mr. Murphy, 
449 ; at Streatham, 450 ; at 
Chessington, brother's promo- 
tion, 453 ; writing Cecilia, 463, 
463 n. ; at Grosvenor Square, 
463-5; with Sir J. Reynolds, 
465 ; death of Mr. Thrale, sym- 
pathy with Mrs. Thrale, 469- 
470, 471 ; at Streatham, 472 ; 
quarrel with Mr. Crutchley, 
479-486, 489, 490. 

Letters of, 35, 39, 43, 160, 
211, 212, 254, 256, 259, 264, 
311, 313, 422, 427, 432, 434, 
437, 442, 450, 451, 453, 454, 
462, 468, 470, 471 

Butt, Rev. George, 361 n. 

Byron, Capt. George Anson, 347, 

Byron, Admiral the Hon. John, 
267, 332/1., 375, 379, 446, 

Byron, Mrs. Sophia, grandmother 
of Lord Byron, 267, 332, 333, 
347, 374, 387, 390, 392, 394, 
400, 402, 410, 411, 412, 433, 
461, 497 

Byron, Miss Augusta, 333, 347, 
351, 372, 376, 387, 392, 393, 
394, 400, 403, 408, 410, 433, 
446, 464 

Byron, Mrs. Juliana E., 348 

Byron, Mr., 468 



Caldwell, Misses, 420 

Calvert, Dr., 103, 104, 105, 131 

Cambridge, R. O., 314 n. 

Camp in Hyde and St. James's 

Parks, 429, 436 
Campbell, Mrs., 329 
Campbell, Colonel, 393, 408 
Campbell, Lady F., 254 
Candide, 236, 237 
" Captain Mirvan," 131 
Carmichael, Miss, 113 n. 
Carter, Mrs. Elizabeth, 102 n., 
387, 390, 391, 403, 411, 462, 492 
Castles family, 435 
Cator, John, 472, 500, 501 
Cator, Mrs., 497 
Cecilia, Miss Burney's, 250 n. 3 

312 n., 316, 322, 344, 463 
Chadwick, Mr., 415 
Chamier, Anthony, 266 n., 267, 

269, 439, 441 
Chamier, Mrs. , 446 
Chancellor family, 11 n. 
, y Chapone, Mrs. Hester, 359 
Chappel, Mrs., 127 n. 
Chatterton, Thomas, 92, 356 
Chaworth, Mary, 283 n. 
Chessington Hall, 10, 11, 14, 28, 
35, 49, 51, 98, 213, 255, 264, 
311, 321, 345, 361, 434, 443, 
451, 455 
Chesterfield, Lord, 296 
Chewton, Viscount, 466 n. 
Children, 67 
Cholmley, Mr., 335, 344 
Cholmley, Mrs., 329, 331, 333, 
334, 335, 344, 352, 363, 377, 
380, 385, 392, 401 
Cholmley, Miss Ann, 334 
Cholmondeley, Hon. and Rev. 
Robert, 171, 172, 177, 180, 184, 
Cholmondeley, Mrs. Mary, 38, 
40, 46, 106, 107, 174-180, 186, 
187, 189, 193, 197, 214, 315, 
438, 441 
Cholmondeley, Miss, 171, 172, 186 
Cholmondeley, Miss Fanny, 171, 

172, 179, 186 
Cibber's Apology, 322, 344 
Cipriani, J. B., 465 
Circulating library, 24 n., 27, 31, 

281 n. 
Clandestine Marriage, 96 

Clarendon's History, 243 

Clarissa, 243 

Gierke, Sir Philip Jennings, 199, 
200-1, 201 n., 215, 229, 230, 
231, 232, 234, 235, 237, 238, 
239, 240, 246,247, 249, 326, 327, 
361, 421, 461, 476, 477, 478, 496 

Gierke, Captain, 317, 320, 436, 

Clinton, Lord John, 440, 461, 465 

Clubs : — Essex, 55 n. ; Ivy Lane, 

58 n. ; Blue-Stocking, 109 n. , 
189rc. ; Garrick, 165n. ; Literary, 

59 n., 269 n., 282 n. 
Coleraine, see Dean 
Collinson, Miss, 497 
Colman, the elder, George, 57 n. 
Comedies, 148, 150 n., 150-2, 162, 

Concannon, Lucius, 218 
Congreve, William, 164 
Conway, Hon. Captain, 453 
Cook, Captain James, 317, 318, 

319, 320, 437 
Cooke, Miss Kitty, 11, 42, 136, 

211, 320, 472, 475 
Cooke, Miss Kitty, 445 
Cooper, Miss, 330, 331, 336, 365, 

378, 387, 388, 390, 391, 422 
Cornwallis, Sir William, 267 
Cotton, Captain, 375 
Cotton [Mrs. Davenant], 458 n., 

Coussmaker, Miss Catherine, 33, 

34, 464 
Coventry, Lady, 253 n. 
Cowley, Johnson's Life of, 114, 

117, 118 
Crebillon, 152 
Crewe, Mrs., 187, 214 
Crisp, Mr. Samuel, 10, 11, 17, 29, 

30, 31, 34, 36, 39, 44, 47, 49, 52, 

62-4, 65, 73, 85, 116, 120, 137, 

149, 184, 211, 212, 249, 253 n., 

254, 258, 259, 266, 311, 313, 

342, 345, 349, 356, 452, 455, 

458 7i., 471, 473 

Letters of, 62, 137, 149, 163, 

261, 321, 342, 473 
Crisp, Sam, of Greenwich, 349 
Crispen, Mr., 330, 345 
Critic, The, Sheridan's, 330, 450 
Critical Review, 28 
Criticism, literary, 183 



Crofts, Mr., 265 

Crutchley, Mr. J., 133, 134, 468, 

469, 472, 475, 477,478, 47i),481, 

486, 488, 489, 490, 491,492, 493, 

494, 496, 497, 504, 505, 506 
Click-field, 217 
Cumberland, Richard, 69, 70, 91, 

132, 187, 188, 286,287, 289, 290, 

291, 298 
Cumberland, Mrs., 282, 286, 288, 

Cumberland, Miss, 187 
Cumberland family, 286, 287-8, 

Cure, Mr., 283, 284, 297 

Dallas, Miss C. H., 347, see 
Byron, Capt. G. A. 

Dairy m pie's Memoirs, 243 

Davenant, Mr., 493 

Davenant, Mrs., 451, 458, 461, 
493, 495, 496 

Dean of Coleraine, 438 
v<Delany, Mrs. , 246 n., 337 n. 

Delap, Dr. John, 219, 222, 223, 
224, 225, 227, 229, 236, 239, 
240, 241, 268, 273, 290, 294, 
298, 302, 303, 440, 446, 467, 468 

Dellingham, Mrs., 401, 413, 414 

Denoyers, the, 363 

Desmoulins, Mrs., Ill, 112 

Destouches, Nericault, 91 n. 

Devaynes, Mr., 266 

Devizes, 324, 325, 372 

Devonshire, Georgiana, Duchess 
of, 374, 385, 466 

Dibdin, Charles, 278 n. 

Dickens, Mrs., 282, 284, 287, 296 

Dickens, Miss, 290 

Ditcher, Philip, 370 

Ditcher, Miss, 370, 387 

Dobson, Mrs. Susannah, 360, 365, 
366, 369, 370 

Dodsley, Mr., 15 

Dorset, Duke of, 187 

D'Orvilliers, 268 

Double Deception, Miss Richard- 
son's, 213 

Douglas, Home's, 409 

Doyle, Sir A. Conan, Rodney Stone, 
72 n. 

Drossiana, Seward's, 55 n. 

Drummonds, the, 441 

Drury Lane Theatre, 195 

Dryden, John, 71, 86 ; Tempest, 

Dunbar, Dr., 435 
' ' Duval, Madame," 59 

Early Diary, Miss Burney's, 20 n., 
27 n., 38 n., 54 n., 55 n., 56 n., 
141 n., 304 n., 338 n., 345 n., 
349 n., 433 n., 458 n., 460 n. 

Edwy and Edilda, 339 

Eliot [Edward Craggs, first Lord], 

Ellis, Mrs. Raine, 64 n. 

Embry, Mr., 142, 143, 145 

Emily, Miss, 466 

Epitaphs, curious, 217, 280 

Essex Club, 55 n. 

Estaing, Count d', 267 

Euston, Earl of, 466 n. 

Evans, Rev. Mr. , 318 

Evelina : or A Young Lady's 
Entrance into the World, 13, 
15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 
27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 
36, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43-55, 59, 
60-62, 72, 73-4, 77, 90, 92, 93, 
94, 95-98, 104, 105, 106, 107, 
108, 109, 110, 113, 117, 124, 
131, 137, 140, 148, 158, 159, 
161, 175, 184, 191, 192, 193, 
203, 214, 229, 231, 247, 251, 
258, 262, 276, 283-4, 291, 298, 
338, 339, 353, 359, 360, 364, 
369, 391, 411, 418, 451, 461, 
463, 492 

Evelyn, Miss, see Price 

Everything a Bore, 233, 241-2 

Farinelli, 444 

Feather ornaments, 70 
/Female Quixote, Mrs. Lenox's, 86 

Ferry, Mr., 388, 389 

Fielding, Henry, novels, 33, 72, 
90, 95, 122, 126, 151, 174; 
Amelia, 48 n. 
v-Fielding, Miss Sarah, 86 n., 409 

Finch, Rev. Dr., 401, 413, 414 

Fisher, Mr., 218, 219 

Fisher, Kitty, 84 

Fitzgerald, young, 218, 219 

Flint, Bet, 82, 83 

1 ' Flummery," 63 n. 

Forrest, Miss, 172, 187 



Forster's Life of Goldsmith, 77 n. 
Forster, Mrs., 365 
Fountains, The, Johnson's, 169 n. 
Francklin, Dr. Thomas, 157, 167, 

Franks, letter, 455, 457, 460 
Friend, Dr., 45 
Frodsham, Captain, 379, 392, 400, 

411, 421 
Fuller, Captain, 220, 223, 226, 

228, 230, 234, 235, 461 
Fuller, Mr. Rose, 79, 87, 88 n., 

103, 105, 108, 130, 131, 132, 

142, 268, 293, 300 
Fuller, Mr. Stephen, 131, 132, 


Gainsborough, Thomas, 458 n., 

Garrick, David, 10, 57, 58, 103, 

188, 262, 303, 346, 361 n., 409 
Garrick, Mrs., 3, 492 
Gast, Mrs., 11, 42, 47, 166, 255, 

256, 320, 342, 346, 349, 356, 

Gay, John, 443 
German Tour, Dr. Burney's, 14, 

15 n. 
Giardini, Felice de, 156 
Gillies, Dr. John, 265 
Goldsmith, Oliver, 76, 77, 132, 

150 n., 209, 272; Good-naturd 

Man, 76, 455 n. ; Retaliation, 

28 n., 100 n. 
Gordon, Lord George, 421, 423, 

424, 427, 436, 441, 455 
<c Grafton, Mr." i.e. Miss Burney, 

22, 23 
Gray, Thomas, 1 n. ; Ode, 341 n. 
Gregory, Dr. John, 115 
Gregory, Miss, 115, 117, 120, 122, 

123, 124, 329, 331, 334, 338, 

340, 341, 344, 351, 353, 360, 

363, 373 
Grenada, 264 n., 267 
Grenville, Mr., 424 
Gresham, Lady, 210 
Greville, Mrs., 10, 45, 214, 262 n., 

276, nee Macartney 
Greville, Hon. Charles, 466, 

467 n. 
Greville, Fulke, 10, 262, 264, 

265, 458 n. 
Grosvenor Square, 463, 465, 468 n. 

Grub Street, 438, 441 
Guest, Miss, 340, 358, 359 
Gulliver s Travels, 343 
Gunning, Countess of Coventry, 

Maria, 399 
Gwatkin, Mr. R. L., 171, 179 
Gwatkin, Mrs., nee Offy Palmer, 

103 n. 
Gwyn, Mrs., nee Horneck, 465 

Hales, Lady, 33, 34, 45, 163 
Hall, an engraver, 214 
Hamilton, Christopher, 11 
Hamilton, the wit, 294 
Hamilton [William Gerard], 308, 

309, 310 
Hamilton, Mrs., 212, 320, 452 
Hamilton, Miss, 11 
Harcourt, George Simon, second 

Earl, 189, 190 
Hardy, Sir Charles, 268 n. 
Harington, Dr. Henry, 332, 336, 

356, 367, 368, 376, 386, 388, 423 
Harington, Rev. Henry, 356, 

367 n., 368, 369, 370, 387 
Harington, Miss, 387 
Harington, Sir John, 356 
Harrington, Lord, 338 
Harris, Mr. F. Leverton, M. P. , ix 
Harris, James, 86, 428 
Hawkesworth, Dr. John, 10, 141 
Hawkins, Sir John, 58 
Hay, Mr., 426 

Hayward's Autobiography of Mrs. 
v Piozzi, 72, 204 
Heberden, Dr. William, 310, 448 
Hermes, J. Harris's, 86 n. 
Hervey, Dr., of Tooting, 253 
Hervey, Mrs., 120 
Hesketh, Lady, 445 
HinchclifFe, Bishop of Peterboro', 

221, 222, 229, 372, 373, 377, 

383, 387 
Hinchcliffe, Mrs. , 461 
Hinde, Mrs., 342 
Hoadley, Dr., 409 
Hoare, William, R.A., 326, 339 
Hoare, Mrs. Merrick, nee Sophia 

Thrale, 159 
Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty, 89 
Holroyd, Colonel, see Sheffield, 

Home, John, 409 n. 
Hooke, N., 342 n. 



Hoole, Mr. John, 435 

Hope, Duchess of Devonshire's Ode 

to, 374 
Horneck, Catherine, 497 n. 
Horneck, Miss Mary, 171; see 

Gwyn, 465 
Horneck, Mrs., 167, 171, 173 
Hotham, Sir Charles, 426 
Hothamite, 426 
Huddesford, Rev. George, 158 n., 

180, 182, 185 
Hudibras, quoted, 118 ; Johnson 

on, 86 
Hume's Essays, 399 
Humphries, Miss, 24, 25, 26 
Humphry, Ozias, 156, 167, 495 
Hunt, Mr., 363 
Hunter, Dr., 318 
Huntingdon, Lord, 385, 394 
Hutton, Mr., 192 
Hutton, John, the Moravian, 10 
Hyde Park, 429, 436 

Inglish, Lady Dorothy, 373, 382, 

Ingram, Mr., 464 
Irene, Johnson's, 90, 146, 147 
Italian Tour, Dr. Burney's, 14 

Jebb, Dr., Sir Richard, 75, 103, 
133, 244, 455, 461, 468, 497 

Jennings, Rev. Mr. , 496 

Jerningham, Edward, 350, 351, 
352, 357 

Jess, Miss Emily, 446 

" Jessamy Bride," 171 n. 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 40, 46, 48, 
49, 50, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 63, 
66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 
77, 78, 79, 79 n., 80, 81, 82-84, 
85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 
95, 99, 101, 102, 103, 109, 110, 
111, 112-120, 123, 124, 125, 
128-9, 130, 132, 133-135, 136, 
137, 138, 140, 141, 142, 146, 147, 
163, 168, 181, 182, 183, 184, 
188, 198, 199, 200-1, 204, 205, 
207,209, 210, 211, 216,231, 237, 
245, 247,249,250, 252, 254, 265, 
272, 276, 291, 300, 323, 327, 
339, 371, 411, 421, 426, 435, 
437, 438, 441, 443, 448, 449, 
450, 453, 454, 459, 462, 464, 
467, 469, 471, 473, 475, 476, 

487, 489, 494, 498-501, 509; 

Lives of the Poets, 443 
Johnson, General, or Commodore, 

" John-Trot," 222 
Journal, Miss Burney's, 163 

Kauffman, Angelica, 465 

Keate, George, Sketches from 

Nature, 252 
Keith, Lady, nee Thrale, 54 n., 

159 n. 
Kelly's False Delicacy, 48 n. 
Kenrick, Dr. William, 28, 32 
King, Captain James, 466 
King, Mr., 173 
Kinnaird, Miss Margaret, 141 
Kirwans, the, 452 
Kirwans, Miss, 430 
Knole Park, 270, 270-1, pictures, 

Know your own Mind, Murphy's, 


Lade [or Ladd], Sir John, 72, 

73, 135, 450 
Lade [or Ladd], Lady, 103, 105, 

108, 109, 110, 117, 141, 144, 

145, 250, 251, 252, 268, 269, 

318, 449 
Lcelius : an Essay on Friendship, 55 
Lalauze, Mr., 250 
Lambart, General, 328 
Lamhart, Mrs., 328, 329, 331, 335, 

339, 361, 362, 373, 374, 380, 

385, 390, 394, 408, 411, 412, 

415, 417, 478, 496 
Langton, Bennet, 66, 68, 111 n. 
La Trobe, 10 

Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 325, 326 
Lawrence, Dr. Thomas, 339 
Lawrence, Mrs., mother of Sir 

Thomas, 324, 372 
Lee, General Charles, 331, 348 
Lee, the Bath actor, 351, 376, 

Lee, Mrs. Sydney, 331, 338, 348 
Legacy of Advice, Gregory's, 115 n. 
Leicester Fields, 466 
Leigh, Mrs., 355, 391, 400 
Leigh, Miss, 345, 348, 349, 350, 

355, 357, 361, 379, 391, 392, 

401, 410, 411 
Leinster, Duchess of, 254 



Lenox, Mrs. Charlotte, 86 
Lenthal, Mrs. Molly, 166 
Levett [Robert], 112 
Lewis, John, Dean of Ossory, 329, 

335, 339, 340, 358, 372, 377, 

401, 413 
Lewis, Mrs., 335, 357, 377, 401 
Lewis, Miss Charlotte, 328, 330, 

335, 339, 377, 378, 401, 402, 

403, 414 
Lewis, Miss, 339, 357 
Ligonier, John, Earl, 293 
Lindsay, Lady Anne, 244 
Linguet, S. N. H., 121 n., 125 
Linley, Miss, afterwards Mrs. 

Tickell, 187, 192, 197 
Lives of the Poets, Johnson's, 86, 

99, 114 n., 173 
Locke, Mrs., 17 
London Review, 28 
Long, Dudley, 467 
Lort, Rev. Michael, 91, 92, 93, 

94, 95, 96, 98, 103, 476 
Love, Norris's Theory of, 114 
Lowe, Mauritius, 494 
Lowndes, Thomas, 15, 16 n., 23, 

32, 38, 61, 95, 97, 178, 192, 

]93 n., 214, 247 n,, 285; letters 

to "Mr. Grafton," 23, 39 
Lyell, Mrs., 506 
Lynn Journal, see also Early Diary, 

Lynn, King's, 3, 9, 12, 14 
Lyttelton, Lord, Life of, 497, 498- 


Macaria, Dr. Delap's play, 219 n., 

223, 224 
Macaulay, Lord, on Mme. D'Arb- 

lay, vi, 28 n., 346 n. 
Macbean, [Alexander], 111, 112 
" Mag," 118 

Manningham, Dr., 363, 411 
Marivaux, 152 
Marlborough, Sarah, Duchess of, 

Marmontel, 9 n. 
Mason, Rev. Wm., 10, 167 ; Elegy 

on Lady Coventry, 399 
" Master" for husband, 69 n. 
Mathias, T. J., 55 n. 
Maud, Sir Cornwallis, 334, 335 
Melmoth, William, 55 n., 364, 


Memoirs, writing of, 1 

Merlin [John Joseph], 458, 503, 

504, 505 
Merlin's Cave, 458 n. 
Michell, Mr., 228, 229 
Middleton, Dr., 237 
Milford, Lady, 378 
Militia, Sussex, 220 
Miller, Sir John, 380 n., 393, 415, 

Miller, Lady, 328, 380, 381, 382, 

393, 415, 417, 420 
Miller, Miss, 419 

Miller's Vase, Lady, 186, 328, 393, 

394, 415, 415-16 n., 420 
Milles, Dr. Jeremiah, Dean of 

Exeter, 357 

Millico, Giuseppe, 324 

Minorca, 301, 302 

Moliere's Femmes Scavantes, 259 

Montagu, Admiral John, 5, 76 

Montagu, Mrs. [Elizabeth, nee 
Robinson], 82, 109, 110, 115, 
116, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 
151, 165, 183, 214, 276, 316 n., 
329, 331, 334, 338, 339, 341, 
343, 344, 352, 353, 360, 363, 
364, 373, 383, 403, 436, 455, 
460, 461, 462, 492, 498, 502 n. 

Montagu House, 116 n., 123 

Monthly Review, 28, 31, 43 

Mordaunt, Lord, 218, 219, 221 

More, Hannah, 10, 99, 148, 188, 
v 403, 492 

Mortimer, John Hamilton, 214 

Moss, Miss, 142 

Mulgrave, Constantino, second 
Lord, 334, 335, 336 n., 337, 
338, 344, 352, 375, 377, 383, 
384, 386, 401 

Murphy [Arthur], 91, 103, 159, 
185, 202-5, 208, 209, 210, 215, 
218, 219, 221, 222, 224, 225, 
227, 228, 229, 258, 318, 319, 
323, 449 

Music, Burney's History of, 13, 15, 
155, 459 

Musters, Mrs., 283, 287 

" Muzzing," 177 

" Nancy Dawson," 40, 165 
Necker, Mons, 7 
Nesbitt, Mrs., 230, 497 
Newnham, Mr., 282 



Newton, Sir Isaac, 102 n., 442 n. ; 

Observatory, 11 n. 
Noilekens, Joseph, 10 
No Popery riots, 421, 423-0, 427, 

Norris, Rev. John, 114 
North, Mrs., 373, 374 
Northcote, James, 467 n. 
NugcB Antiques, Hariugton's, 350, 

367 n. 

Ode to Dr. Burney, 32 
O'Hara, Kane, Two Misers, 333 
Orange Coffee House, 15 n., 38 
Ord, Mrs., 69, 188, 329, 353, 391, 

401, 435, 436, 461 
Ord, Miss, 391, 464 
O'Riley, Mrs., 478 
O'Riley, Miss, 478, 479 
Ossory, Dean of, see Lewis 
Owen, Miss, 363, 364, 431, 433, 

434, 436, 475, 478, 482, 490, 503 
Owhyhee court dress, 460 

Pacchierotti, Gasparo, 155, 187, 

323, 324, 346, 347, 434, 435-6, 

441, 452 
Palmer, Misses, 103, 104, 105, 

109, 113, 168, 170 
Palmer, Miss Mary, 103 n., 179, 

Palmer, Miss Offy, 103 n., 104, 

106, 107, 109, 171, 181 
Palmerston, Henry Temple, second 

Viscount, 173, 174, 177, 178, 

180, 184 
Paradises, the, 435 
Parker, Dr. and Mrs., 231, 476 
Parker family, 455 
Parsons, Sir William, 278 
Party, political, 200, 201 
Pembroke, Lady, 283, 287, 300 
Pendarves, Mrs. , see Delany 
Pennant, Thomas, 75 
Pepys, Dr. [Sir Lucas], 440, 461, 

Pepys, Mr. [Sir William Weller], 

159, 269, 435, 436, 497, 498, 

499, 500, 501, 502 
Pepys, Mrs., 391 
Percy, Hannah More's, 148 
Percv's Reliques, 60 n. 
Perkins, Mr., 421, 427, 432, 478, 


Perkins, Mrs., 478 
Peterborough, Bp. of, see Hinch- 

Petrarca, 369 

Petrarch's Life, Mrs. Dobson's, 360 
Philips, Thomas, 296 n. 
Philips, Miss, 377, 378, 402, 415 
Phillips, Captain Molesworth, 458, 

Phipps, Hon. Augustus, 334, 336 
Phipps, Hon. Edmund, 250, 251, 

337, 338 
Phipps, Hon. Harry, 250 
Pianofortes, 458 n. 
Pigot, Sir Robert, 373, 394 
wPilkington, Mrs., 84 n. 
Pinkerton's Walpoliana, 1 n. 
Pinkethman, Mrs., 84 
Piozzi [Gabriele], 156, 266, 351, 

460, 504 
Pitches family, 139, 503 ; Sir 

Abraham, 253 n. ; Miss Sophy, 

253 ; Miss Peggy, 253 
Pitt, Christopher, JEneid, 5 
Pleydell, Mrs., 277 
Pleydell, Miss, 361 
Plumbe, Mrs., 476 
Poggi, 465 
Poland Street, 4, 5 
"Poll" [Carmichael], 113 
Pope, Alexander, 5, 22, 40, 92, 

232, 246, 262, 419; Temple of 

Fame, 22 ; Essay on Criticism, 

151 n. ; Rape of the Lock, 144 n. 
Porteus, Bishop Beilby, 358, 364, 

Porteus, Mrs., 365 
Portland, Duchess of, 343 
Poyntz, Mrs., 334, 363, 392 
Poyntz, Miss, 360 
Price, Mrs., nee Evelyn, 465 
Prior, Matthew, 238 n., 443 
Prior's Life of Malone, 58 n. 
Prior Park, 327 n. 
Pugh, Mr., 340 
Pursuits of Literature, 55 n. 

Queen Dido [Miss Burney], 224 

Queen Square, 5, 9, 11 

Quin, James, 63, 409 

Quotations from Hamlet, 63 n. ; 
from Dry den, 71 ; from Pope's 
Rape of the Lock, 144 n. ; Essay 
on Criticism, 151 n. ; from 



Richardson's Clarissa, 158 n. ; 
Sheridan's School for Scandal, 
194 n. ; from Prior, 238 n. : 
from Pope's Epistle to Arbuthnot, 
262 ; from Walpole's Twicken- 
ham Register, 295 n. ; from 
Churchill's Rosciad, 346 ; from 
Mason's Elegy on the Death of a 
Lady, 399 ; from Pope, 451 ; 
from Addison's Cato, 467 

Radnor, Lady, 34 

Rambler, Johnson's, 77 

Ranelagh, 431 

Rauzzini, Venanzio, 304, 401 

Reigate, 217, 447 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 60, 61, 
76 n., 77 n., 84 n., 103, 
104, 105, 108, 109, 113, 121, 
132 n., 133, 161, 167, 169, 174, 
175, 179, 185, 189, 191, 192, 
193, 194-5, 214, 267, 272, 291, 
301, 326, 342, 438, 439, 465, 
466, 505 

Reynolds, Mrs. [i.e. Miss Frances, 
60 n.], 60, 167, 265, 435 

Riccoboni, Madame, 48 

Richardson, Samuel, 48, 86, 89, 
90, 94, 370 

Richardson, Miss, of Tower Hill, 

Richmond, third Duke of, 226 

Riggs, Mrs., 415, 417, 419 

" Rigmarole," 434 n. 

Robertson's America, 243 

Romney, George, 132 

Rothes, Lady, 440, 461 

Rouged, i.e., blushed, 337 

Royal Academy, 167 

Royal Suppliants, The, Dr. Delap's 
play, 219 n. 

Rudd, Margaret Caroline, 84 

Russell on Sea Water, 440 

Sacchini, Antonio M. G. , 272, 350, 

St. James's, Court of, 460 
St. James's Park, 429, 436 
St. James's, Westminster, 9 
St. Martin's Street, 11, 36, 54 n., 

55 n., 73, 76, 102, 141, 154, 

180, 193, 311, 313, 378 n., 427, 

428, 433 n., 446, 452 
Sage, Miss, 383 

Salusbury, Hester Lynch, see 

V Thrale, Mrs., 36 n. 

Sandwich, Lord, 436 

Sandys, Lord, 465 

Sastres, Signor, 264 

School for Scandal, Sheridan's, 
190, 194, 330 

Scotch, Johnson and, 78 

Scott, Sir Walter, 49 n. 

Scrase, Richard, 431, 436, 441, 

Seaton, Mr. H., 378 

Sefton, Lord, 300 

Selwyn, Mr., 299 n., 302, 304, 
305, 306, 311, 446, 468, 476 

Seward, William, 55, 60, 63, 74, 
91, 92, 93, 95, 99, 100, 103, 
139, 140, 142, 143, 145, 181, 
185, 186, 210, 230, 232, 233, 
235, 236, 237, 238, 240, 241, 
243, 251, 269, 319, 331, 448, 
451, 464, 494, 496, 497, 498, 
499, 500, 501, 506, 507, 510 

Seymour, Lord Hugh, 466 n. 

Shakespeare's Tempest, 288 

Shakespeare, Mrs. Montagu on 
the Genius of, 341 

Sheffield, John Baker Holroyd, 
Lord, 464 n. 

Sheffield, Lady, 465 

Shelley, Sir John and Lady, 287, 

Shelley, Sir John, 436 n. 

Shelley, Lady, 440, 445 

Shenstone, William, 499 

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 190, 
193-196, 255, 315, 321, 323, 
344, 347, 361 

Sheridan, Mrs. R. B., 187, 190 

Shirley, Lady Fanny, 295 

Siddons, Mrs., 351 

Sir Charles Grandison, 418 

Sleepe, Mr. , 430 

Smelt, Leonard, 324, 334 

Smith, Henry, cousin to Mr. 
Thrale, 133, 134, 473 

Smollett, T.,327w. 

Society of Arts, 265 

Solander, Dr. Daniel Charles, 
318, 319, 320 

Somerset House, 430 

Spectator, The, 232 

Spence [Joseph], 5 n. 

Spencer, Lady, 374 



Spouting Clubs, 103 n. 

Stael, Madame de, 7 

Sterne's Sentimental Journey, 252 

Stow, Miss, 446 

Strange, Sir Robert and Lady, 10 

Streatfield, Mrs., 273, 274, 275, 

Streatfield, Miss Sophia, 88, 102, 

109, 111, 165, 184, 185, 209, 
210, 211, 231, 232, 233, 234, 
236, 237, 238, 239, 244, 245, 
273, 305, 331, 339 n., 443, 461, 
464, 503 

Streatham, 48, 50, 51, 53, 60, 

65, 76, 85, 100, 101, 102, 108, 
118, 119, 131, 136, 169, 181, 
184, 198, 206, 211, 212, 228, 
231, 248, 266, 268, 421, 431, 
444, 453, 472, 510; the garden, 
139 ; the church, 139, 231 

Stuart, Andrew, 301, 302 

Swift, Dean, 37, 139, 232, 246 n. } 

Swinfen, Dr., Ill n. 
Sylph, The, 192, 193, 374, 418 

Tale of a Tub, Swift's, 139 
Tambour waistcoat, 74 
Tattersall, Rev. Mr., 66, 388 
Tattersall, Mrs., 432 
Tedder, Mr. Henry R., x 
Teignmouth, 64 

Thomas's Library, 281, 289, 440 
Thomond, Marchioness of, see 

Palmer, Miss, 103 n. 
Thompsons, Miss, 326 
Thrale, Mr., 46, 53, 66, 68, 72, 

73, 81, 85, 91, 92, 93, 99, 102, 
105, 109, 113, 123, 128, 132, 
135, 136, 141, 145, 199, 201 n., 
217, 218, 224, 226, 229, 230, 
231, 233, 241, 243, 249, 254, 
270, 280, 282, 283, 288, 291, 
304, 318, 324, 325, 327, 332, 
353, 372, 377, 391, 393, 421, 
422, 439, 444, 447, 448, 450, 
454, 455, 468, 471 

Thrale, Mrs., 36, 37, 40, 41, 
45, 46, 49, 50, 51, 54-8, 59, 

66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 

74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 92, 
93, 96, 97, 98, 101, 104-7, 109, 

110, 111, 112, 114-119, 121, 122, 

123, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 
132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 
139, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 
159, 163, 169, 181, 183, 185, 
193, 196, 198, 202, 204, 207, 
208, 209, 211, 216, 220, 221, 
222, 223, 226, 228, 229, 232, 
233, 237, 238, 239, 244, 245, 
247, 249, 251, 258, 259, 262, 
266, 270, 275, 280, 285, 289, 
290, 291, 302, 304, 306, 310, 
318, 323, 329, 331, 336, 342, 
343, 344, 352, 354, 362, 364, 
365, 369, 370, 371, 375, 376, 
377, 388, 390, 405-406, 410, 
411, 4 J 2, 422, 423, 434, 437, 
446, 447, 448, 450, 458 n., 467, 
472, 473, 475, 477, 481, 482, 
487, 491, 497, 498, 501 

y Letters of, 48, 158, 266, 431, 
440, 457, 459, 460 

Thrale, Miss Hester Maria, 36, 
54, 66, 79, 99, 104, 105, 122, 
123, 128, 133, 216, 217, 229, 
230, 235, 270, 285, 288, 290, 
311, 328, 332, 367, 368, 381, 
405, 408, 411, 432, 434, 439, 
446, 447, 454, 464, 470, 477, 
480, 481, 483, 486, 487, 495 

Thrale, Miss Sophia, 91, 432, 442 

Thrale, Miss Susan, 91, 216, 432, 

Thrale' s Brewery, 487, 491 

Thrale Gallery, 458 n. ; sale of, 
458 n. 

Three Warnings, Mrs. Thrale, 475 

Tidy, Mr., 299, 308, 311, 440, 446 

Timoleon, Rev. G. Butt's, 361, 
362, 438 

" Toad," a, 71, 176 

Travell, "Beau," 385, 405, 413, 

Troubadours, Mrs. Dobson's, 360 

Tunbridge, 183, 272 

Tunbridge Wells, 272, 273, 274, 

Twining, Mr., 10 

Twiss, Richard, 37 

Tyers, Thomas, 79 

Tyson, Mr., 394, 402, 410 

Vanbrugh, Sir John, 164 
Vanbrugh, Mr. and Mrs., 394, 



Vesey, Mrs. Elizabeth, 189, 253, 

Vicar of Wakefield, Goldsmith's, 

Vincent, Mrs., 478 
Virginia, Crisp's, 261 n. 
Vyse, Dr. W., 232 n. 

Waldegrave, Ladies Horatia, 

Laura, and Maria, 466 
Wallace, James, 479, 481, 503 
Wallace, Mrs., 476, 503 
Waller, Johnson's Life of, 114, 136 
Walpole, Horace, 1 n., 62, 159 n., 

431 n. 
Walsingham, Hon. Capt., 317 
Warley Common, 111 ; and camp, 

111 n. 
Warley : a Satire, Huddesford's, 

158, 161, 163, 168, 170, 171, 

Warton, Dr. Joseph, 191, 196 
Webber, John, 466 
Wedderburne, Alexander, Lord 

Loughborough, 275, 276, 343 
Wedderburne, Mrs., 276 
West, Sir Benjamin, 465 
Westcote, Lord and Lady, 476 

West Indies, 267 

Weston, Miss, 380, 382, 383, 392, 

393, 409, 414 
Whalley, Rev. T. S., 328, 367, 

368, 370, 380, 383, 387, 393 
Whalley, Mrs., 393, 415 
White, Mr. and Mrs., 394 
Widgett, library, Brighton, 226, 

281 n. 
Wilkes, John, 57 
Williams, Mrs. Anna, 50, 51, 81, 

84, 98, 113, 184, 185, 475 
Willis, Miss, 335 
Wilson, Mrs., 360, 363, 377 
Windsor Forest, Pope's, 246 
Witlings, The, Miss Burney's, 91, 

213, 219 n., 256-9, 259 n. s 262, 

293, 296, 341, 362 
Woodward, Dr., 332, 336, 358 
Worcester, Bishop of, 374 
Wraxall's Memoirs, 252 
Wyndham, Hon. Mr., 410, 415, 


Young, Arthur, 10 

Young, Rev. Edward, Night 

Thoughts, 2 n. 
Young, Miss Dorothy, 168, 169 



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