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DIAKY OF A JOURNEY
IN THE VEAR 1771
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D
Edited, with Illustrative Kotes,
A JOURNEY INTO NORTH WALES IN THE YEAR 1774.1
Tuesday, July 5.—We2 left Streatham at 11 A.m.—Price of four horses two shillings a mile.—Barnet 1 40' P.m.—On the road I read Tully's Epistles—At night at Dunstable.
Wednesday, July 6.—To Lichfield, eighty-three miles. To the Swan.
Thursday, July 7.—To Mrs. Porter's—to the cathedral—To Mrs. Aston's—To Mr. Green's—Mr. Green's museum was much admired, and Mr. Newton's china.
Friday, July 8.—To Mr. Newton's—To Mrs. Cobb's—Dr. Darwin's3—I went again to Mrs. Aston's. She was sorry to part.
Saturday, July 9.—Breakfasted at Mr. Garrick's*—Visited Miss Vyse'—Miss Seward'—Went to Dr. Taylor's [at Ashbourn]
1 Mr. Duppa, in his short preface, acknowledges his obligations to Mrs. Piozzi for her kind assistance in explaining many facts, otherwise unintelligible, in this Diary.—Editor.
3 We, i.e. Mr., Mrs., and Miss Thrale and Johnson. See vol. ii., p. 265.—Editor.
3 Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the illustrious Charles Darwin.— Editor.
4 "Peter Garrick, the elder brother of David. I think be was an attorney, but he seemed to lead an independent life, and talked all ahout fishing. Dr. Johnson advised him to read Walton's Angler, repeating some verses from it."—Piozzi MS.—Croker.
5 Daughter of Archdeacon Vyse, wife afterwards of lladan, Bishop of Peterborough.—Croker.
* "Dr. Johnson would not suffer me to speak to Miss Seward."— Piozzi MS. So early was the coulness between them.—Croker.
—I read a little on the road in Tully's Epistles and MartialMart. 8th, 44, lino pro limo.1
Sunday, July 10.—Morning, at church. Company at dinner.
Monday, July 11.—At Ham—At Oakover—I was less pleased with Ham than when I saw it first; but my friends were much delighted.
Tuesday, July 12.—At Chatsworth—The water willow*—The cacade shot out from many spouts—The fountains—The water tree—The smooth floors in the highest rooms 3—Atlas fifteen hands inch and half4—River running through the park—The porticoes on the sides support two galleries for the first floor— My friends were not struck with the house—It fell below my ideas of the furniture—The staircase is in the corner of the house —The hall in the corner the grandest room, though only a room of passage—On the ground-floor, only the chapel and breakfastroom, and a small library; the rest, servants' rooms and offices— A bad inn.
Wednesday, July 13.—At Matlock.
Thursday, July 14.—At dinner at Oakover; too deaf to hear, or much converse—Mrs. Gell—The chapel at Oakover—The wood of the pews grossly painted—I could not read the epitaph —Would learn the old hands.
Friday, July 15.—At Ashbourn—Mrs. Dyott and her daughters came in the morning—Mr. Dyott5 dined with us—We visited Mr Flint.
1 In the edition of Martial, which he was reading, the last word of the line
"Defluat, et lento splendescat turbida limo"
was, no doubt, misprinted lino.— Croker.
2 "There was a water-work at Chatsworth with a concealed spring, which, upon touching, spouted out streams from every bough of a willow tree. I remember Lady Keith (Miss Thrale), then ten years old, was the most amused by it of any of the party."—Piozzi MS.—Croker.
3 Old oak floors polished by rubbing. Johnson, I suppose, wondered that they should take such pains with the garrets.—Tiozzi MS.— Croker.
1 This was a race-horse, which was very handsome and very gentle, and attracted so much of Dr. Johnson's attention, that he said, " of all the Duke's possessions, I like Atlas best."—Duppa.
8 The Dyotts are a respectable and wealthy family, still residing near Lichfield. The royalist who shot Lord Brooke when assaulting St. Chad's Cathedra], in Lichfield, on St. Chad's day, is said to have been a Mr. Dyott.—Croker.
Saturday, July 16. — At Dovedale, with Mr. Langley 2 and Mr. Flint. It is a place that deserves a visit; but did not answer tny expectation. The river is small, the rocks are grand. Reynard's Hall is a cave very high in the rock; it goes backward several yards, perhaps eight. To the left is a small opening, through which I crept, and found another cavern, perhaps four yards square; at the back was a breach yet smaller, which I could not easily have entered, and, wanting light, did not inspect. I was in a cave yet higher, called Reynard's Kitchen. There is a rock called the Church, in which I saw no resemblance that could justify the name. Dovedale is about two miles long. We walked towards the head of the Dove, which is said to rise about five miles above two caves called the Dog-holes, at the end of Dovedale. In one place where the rocks approached, I proposed, to build an arch from rock to rock over the stream with a summerhouse upon it. The water murmured pleasantly among the stones. — I thought that the heat and exercise mended my hearing. I bore the fatigue of the walk, which was very laborious, without inconvenience. — There werewith us Gilpin2 and Parker.4 Having beard of this place before, I had formed some imperfect idea, to which it did not answer. Brown 3 says he was disappointed. I certainly expected a larger river, where I found only a clear quick brook. I believe I had imaged a valley enclosed by rocks, and terminated by a broad expense of water. He that has seen Dovedale has no need to visit the Highlands. — In the afternoon we visited old Mrs. Dale.6
1 "More bore away tlie first crown of the Muses, Erasmus the second, and Micyllus has the third." Micyllus's real name was Moltzer; see his article in Bayle. His best work was I)e re Metrica. — Croker.
2 The Rev. Mr. Langley was master of the grammar-school at Ashbourn; a near neighbour of Dr. Taylor's, but not always on friendly terms with him; which used to perplex their common friend Johnson. — Croker.
2 Mr. Gilpin was an accomplished youth, at this time an undergraduate at Oxford. His father was an old silversmith near Lincoln's Inn Fields.— Piuffi MS.— Croker.
* John Parker, of Brownsholme, in Lancashire, Esq. — Duppa.
'Mrs. Piozzi " rather thought" that this was Capahility Browne, whose opinion on a point of landscape, probably gathered from Gilpin or Parker, Johnson thought worth recording. — Croker.
0 Mrs. Dale was at this time 93. — Duppa.