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In January dined at Dilly's with Parr, Cumberland, Hoole, Reed, Priestley, etc.


Parr: "I have written a Latin epitaph for Johnson, and the knowing ones will be taken in. They expect it to be pompous, as it is written for Pomposo, and by Pomposo the Second." He mentioned tangere as unclassically used in Goldsmith's epitaph, and thundered against the round-robin addressed to Johnson to persuade him to write it in English. He was shocked to see Tom Warton's name in so Gothic a business. Speaking of a lie against Watson's charge: "It was begot by Prejudice on Ignorance, and Malice was its godfather." He spoke very contemptuously of Dr. Ash.


Cumberland spoke of his grandfather Bentley as gentle and fond of children. He would never count money but desired it always to be placed in piles of twenty guineas on the table, and he would run his hand over them to feel that they were all of a height. When a thief was arrested in his pantry, he (Bentley) said: “You see you can't succeed in this trade, go and try a better." When remonstrated with for dismissing him he said mildly: "What more should be done with the fellow? He has failed so egregiously in this instance he will never think of thieving again." Just before he died, his wife said: "I wish you had harassed yourself less with criticism and controversy, and written more on other subjects." He sat musing for a little while, and then burst into tears.

'Somebody mentioned Griffiths, editor of the Monthly Review. Cumberland said he did not envy him his place, it was like the keeper of a bridewell. Cumberland has



often found it a House of Correction. Tweddell said if he had a new comedy he should sit in the pit. "No," said Cumberland, "sit in the green-room, and now and then take a peep between the scenes to feel pulse of the house. If it is in good humour, well; if not-why take a walk!"

'Parr was afterwards in a rage with Cumberland. "Why did Dilly ask me to meet such a scoundrel? He shall tell me who I am to meet next time. To tell Priestley that to attack him was to attack philosophy, and when his back was turned to abuse him as a firebrand, an innovator, and a disturber! Did the fellow think I should forget his words? And then to bring up his Epic Poem. How could I tell it was his? I might have found fault with every line of it."1

'I desired Dilly afterwards to give Hoole and Cumberland my poem. Hoole wrote a civil note. Cumberland called to thank me and tell me of its faults-faults which he himself had committed, and which he hoped I would hear from an old writer-" too rich, and too much alliteration," and "the story too obscure." He afterwards sent me "Calvary."

1 William Maltby was at this party, and Dr. Parr met him a few days afterwards and let off his anger at Cumberland's treatment of Priestley in similar terms to those recorded by Rogers. 'Only to think of Mr. Cumberland, that he should have presumed to talk before me, before me, sir, in such terms of my friend Dr. Priestley. Pray, sir, let Mr. Dilly know my opinion of Mr. Cumberland--that his ignorance is only equalled by his impertinence, and that both are exceeded by his malice.'-Mr. Dyce's Porsoniana, p. 314.

2 The note is among Rogers's letters. It is dated from 28 Pall Mall and expresses the great pleasure he has received from the perusal of his elegant performance, which has given pleasure to all Mr. Hoole's friends who have seen it.'

'At Tuffin's, in the winter, met Romney, Horne Tooke, and Priestley. Romney very animated at times. Speaking of Pitt-" That man," said he, "has a nose turned up at all mankind." Of Horne Tooke he said: "His brain. has starved his nose." Spoke of Hayley's agitation at the acting of Eudoxa: "I thought I should have sunk," said he, "I did not dare to look at him."

The next day with Sharpe and Tuffin; saw Banks's statues, called at Romney's and saw him, and also saw Towneley's collection; and dined at the Grecian.

In the autumn of last year Dr. Priestley, Dr. Kippis, Dr. Moore, Mr. Merry, Captain Brown, Major Montfort, Mr. Sharpe, and Captain Moore dined with me. When I published my poem Merry wrote me a very flattering letter, and I dined with him and his wife. He is Count of the Holy Roman Empire, which the Abbé Grenet procured for him. It cost ten guineas, and his patent of creation. hangs in a frame in his parlour. He mentioned Sir James Murray, who by twelve questions could get at your thoughts.

'In February, passed the evening at Stone's with Fox, Sheridan, O'Brien, the Bishop of Autun, Madame de Sillery, Pamela-supposed to be her daughter— Adèle Princess of Orleans, and Henriette, her niece. Fox said: "All titles are equally ridiculous. I believe Hume wrote up the Stuarts from a spirit of opposition, because it was the fashion to write them down." He spoke French fluently; said his son (who is dumb) had ideas before he had words, talked to him with his fingers, and when he first entered the room flew to receive him with the most lively pleasure. In conversation


his (Fox's) countenance brightens, and his voice assumes a pleasant tone. Dr. Priestley said afterwards he was improved in manners since he saw him at Shelburne House ten years ago, when he spat on the carpet and hurt Lord Shelburne, who is a man of great neatness. "Charles," said Sheridan, "have you read Parr's letter?" "I read it last week," said Fox. "Charles," said Sheridan, "received a long letter from Parr, to dissuade him from moving for the repeal of the Test Act. But as he began with not requiring him to answer it Charles thought he would go a step farther and not read it."


'Madame de Sillery has an air of vivacity. She said Marmontel was an affected writer, of no taste or genius, but cried up by a set of admirers in Paris. I mentioned this afterwards to Blanchisserie, secretary to the Embassy, an aristocrat. "Tell her," said he, "to write as well. Her best works are her daughters." They are fine women. He owned afterwards that he thought himself slighted by her. He has bought Sir Isaac Newton's house in St. Martin's Lane, and intends to ornament the front. Pamela excited Sheridan's notice. (Mirabeau used to be at her feet.) She has fine black eyes, and her skin is of a dazzling whiteness, but Adèle struck me more, having more softness in look and manner. Her fine light hair descended below her knees. She plays delightfully on the harp. Pamela draws. Saw them afterwards at the exhibition. Dr. Priestley said afterwards that he had often heard Marmontel read his tales at Madame de [? Seran's] at Paris, where the literati met every Wednesday evening, and that his action was so violent he was

afraid of sitting near him. It was there also he heard d'Alembert deliver his famous éloge on Voltaire.

In March Dr. Aikin called upon me. On the 20th of April dined with Paine at William Morgan's, a silent man, but very strong and emphatic in his language. The memory of Joshua was given as a toast. "I would not treat kings like Joshua," said Paine: "I'm of the Scotch parson's opinion when he prayed against Louis XIV.—' Lord, shake him over the mouth of hell, but don't let him drop!"" He gave in his turn "The Republic of the World"-a sublime idea.


On the 23rd dined with the Antiquarian Society. Nothing occurred of moment. Sat by Lysons, and conversed with Marsh on Shakespeare. Townley, Daines Barrington,2 and Dr. Douglas, the bishop,3 were there.

'On the 24th dined at Sharpe's with Porson, who read Will Whiston's trial with some humour. On the 26th with Lord Dacre at Edison's, and attended the "Friends of the People" at Freemasons' Hall. On the 27th with Dr. Aikin and Dr. Priestley at College dinner; Dr. A. thinks Molière far superior to any comic writer in this country.

'On the 28th of May dined with Dr. Bates and Marsden and Major Montfort at Mr. Raper's. Marsden thinks our words derived from the Latin at second hand through the French. Dr. Bates said that the fish caught

See Joshua, chaps. x., xi., xii.

2 The Hon. Daines Barrington, fourth son of the first Lord Barrington, a lawyer and an antiquary. He died in 1800.

3 Dr. John Douglas, then in his seventy-first year. He was made bishop of Carlisle in 1787, translated to Salisbury in June, 1791, and died in 1807.

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