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ton explain. His prayer is in general terms : “ Enlighten my understanding with knowledge of right, and govern my will by thy laws, that no deceit may mislead me, nor temptation corrupt me; that I may always endeavour to do good, and hinder evil.” There is nothing upon the subject in his diary.
(post, January 14. 1766), it may be guessed, that this engagen ment was in some way connected with the parliamentary session, and it may have bøen an alliance to write pamphlets or para graphs in favour of a particular line of politics. - C.
Acquaintance with the Thrales. Publication of the
Edition of Shakspeare. - Kenrick. · Letter to Bos. well. — Boswell returns to England. - Voltaire on Pope and Dryden. — Goldsmith's “ Traveller,” and “Deserted Village.” -Suppers at the Mitre resumed.
“ Equal Happiness.' Courting great Men.” - Convents. - Second Sight. — Corsica. — Rousseau.
-Subordination. -“Making Verses.". Letters to Langton.
This year was distinguished by his being introduced into the family of Mr. Thrale, one of the most eminent brewers in England, and member of parliament for the borough of Southwark. Foreigners are not a little amazed when they hear of brewers, distillers, and men in similar departments of trade, held forth as persons of considerable consequence. In this great commercial country it is natural that a situation which produces much wealth should be considered as very respectable ; and, no doubt, honest industry is entitled to esteem. But, perhaps, the too rapid advances of men of low extraction tends to lessen the value of that distinction by birth and gen*tllity, which has ever been found beneficial to the wrand scheme of subordination. Johnson used to give this account of the rise of Mr. Thrale's father :
He worked at six shillings a week for twenty years in the great brewery, which afterwards was his own. The proprietor of it (1) had an only daughter, who was married to a nobleman. It was not fit that a peer should continue the business. On the old man's dea.h, therefore, the brewery was to be sold. To find a purchaser for so large a property was a difficult matter; and, after some time, it was suggested, that it would be advisable to treat with Thrale, a sensible, active, honest man, who had been employed in the house, and to transfer the whole to him for thirty thousand pounds, security being taken upon the property. This was accordingly settled. In eleven years Thrale paid the purchase-money. He acquired a large fortune, and lived to be a member of parliament for Southwark. (2) But what was most remarkable was the liberality with which he used his riches. He gave
his son and daughters the best education. The esteem which his good conduct procured him from the nobleman who had married his master's
(1) The predecessor of old Thrale was Edmund Halsey, Esq.; the nobleman who married his daughter was Lord Cobham, great uncle of the Marquis of Buckingham. But I believe Dr. Johnson was mistaken in assigning so very low an origin to Mr. Thrale. The clerk of St. Albans, a very aged man, told me, that he (the elder Thrale) married a sister of Mr. Halsey. It is at least certain that the family of Thrale was of some consideration in that town: in the abbey church is a handsome monument to the memory of Mr. John Thrale, late of London, merchant, who died in 1704, aged 54, Margaret his wife, and three of their children who died young, between the years 1676 and 1690. The arms upon this monument are, paly of eight, gules and or, impaling, ermine, on a chief indented vert, three wolves' (or gryphons) heads, or, couped at the neck: - Crest on a ducal coronet, a tree, vert. BLAKEWAY.
(2) In 1733 he served the office of high sheriff for Surrey. He died April 9. 1758. - C.