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Note.—On the day when we visited Bodville, we turned to the house of Mr. Griffiths, of Kefuamwycllh, a gentleman of large fortune, remarkable for having made great and sudden improvements in his seat and estate—he has enclosed a large garden with a brick wall—He is considered as a man of great accomplishments—He was educated in literature at the university, and served some time in the army, then quitted his commission, and retired to his lands. He is accounted a good man, and endeavours to bring the people to church.
In our way from Bangor to Con way, we passed again the new road upon the edge of Penmaen Mawr, which would be verv tremendous, but that the wall shuts out the idea of danger—In the wall are several breaches, made, as Mr. Thrale very reasonably conjectures, bv fragments of rocks which roll down the mountain, broken perhaps by frost, or worn through by rain. We then viewed Conway—To spare the horses at Penmaen Rhos, between Conway and St. Asaph, we sent the coach over the road across the mountain with Mrs. Thrale, who had been tired with a walk some time before; and I, with Mr. Thrale and Miss, walked along the edge, where the path is very narrow, and much encumbered by little loose stones, which had fallen down, as we thought, upon the way since we passed it before. At Conway we took a short survey of the castle, which afforded us nothing new—It is larger than that of Beaumaris, and less than that of Caernarvon —It is built upon a rock so high and steep, that it is even now very difficult of access—We found a round pit, which was called the Well; it is now almost filled, and therefore dry—We found the Well in no other castle—There are some remains of leaden pipes at Caernarvon, which, I suppose, only conveyed water from one part of the building to another—Had the garrison had no other supply, the Welsh, who must know where the pipes were laid, could easily have cut them. We came to the house of Mr. Myddelton (on Monday), where we staid to September 6, and were very kindly entertained—How we spent our time, I am not very able to tell'—We saw the wood, which is diversified and romantic.
a fellow collegian with Mr. Thrale and Lord Sandvs of Ombersley."— Piozzi MS.—Croker.
1 However this may have been, he was both happy and amused, during his stay at Gwaynynog, and Mr. Myddelton was flattered by the honour of his visit. To perpetuate the recollection of it, he (to use Mr.
Sunday, Sept. 4.—We dined with Mr. Myddelton, the clergyman, at Denbigh, where I saw the harvest men very decently dressed, after the afternoon service, standing to be hired—On other days, they stand at about four in the morning—they are hired from day to day.
Tuesday, Sept. 6.—We lay at Wrexham; a busy, extensive, and well-built town—it has a very large and magnificent church. It has a famous fair.1
We/lne.iday, Sept. 7.—We came to Chirk Castle.
Thurfday, Sept. 8.—We came to the house of Dr. Worthington, at Llanrhaiadr—Our entertainment was poor, though his house was not bad. The situation is very pleasant, by the side of a small river, of which the bank rises high on the other side,
Boswell's words) erected an urn on the banks of the rivulet, in the park, where Johnson delighted to stand and recite verses; on which is thU inscription :—" This spot was often dignified by the presence of Samuel Johnson, LL. P., whose Moral Writings, exactly conformable to the Precepts of Christianity, gave ardour to Virtue, and confidence to Truth." In 1777, it would appear from a letter by Johnson to Mrs. Thrale, that he was informed that Mr. Myddelton meditated this honour, which seemed to be but little to his taste:—u Mr. Myddeltuu's erection of an urn looks like an intention to bury me alive: I would as willingly see my friend, however benevolent and hospitable, quietly inurned. Let him think, for the present, of some more acceptable memorial."—Duppa.
1 It was probably on the 6th Sept., in the way from Wrexham to Chirk, that they passed through Ruabon, where the following occurrence took place :—" A Welch parson of mean abilities, though a good heart, struck with reverence at the sight of Dr. Johnson, whom he had heard of as the greatest man living, could not find any words to answer his inquiries concerning a motto round somebody's arms which adorned a tombstone in Ruabon churchyard. If I remember right, the words were,
'Heb Dw, Heb Dym,
And though of no very difficult construction, the gentleman seemed wholly confounded, and unable to explain them; till Mr. Johnson, having picked out the meaning by little and little, said to the man, ' Htb is a preposition, I believe, Sir, is it not?' My countryman, recovering some spirits upon the sudden question, cried out,"So I humbly presume, Sir,' very comically." Piozzis Anecdotes.—Croker. [Johnsoniana, P-96.]
* The Myddelton motto, meaning, Without God, without all.' God is all-sufficient!—Piozzts MS.—Croker.
shaded by gradual rows of trees—The gloom, the stream, and the silence, generate thoughtfulness. The town is old, and very mean, but has, I think, a market—In this house, the Welsh translation of the Old Testament was made—The Welsh singing psalms were written by Archdeacon Price—They are not considered as elegant, but as very literal, and accurate—We came to Llanrhaiadr through Oswestry; a town not very little, nor very mean—the church, which I saw only at a distance, seems to be an edifice much too good for the present state of the place.
Friday, Sept. 9.—We visited the waterfall, which is very high, and in rainy weather verv copious—There is a reservoir made to supplv it—In its fall, it has perforated a rock—There is a room built for entertainment—There was some difficulty in climbing to a near view—Lord Lyttelton1 came near it, and turned back —When we came back, we took some cold meat, and notwithstanding the Doctor's importunities, went that day to Shrewsburv.
Saturday, St-pt. 10.—I sent for Gwynn,2 and he showed us the town—the walls are broken, and narrower than those of Chester —The town is large, and has many gentlemen's houses, but the streets are narrow—I saw Taylor's library—We walked in the Quarry; a very pleasant walk by the river—Our inn was not bad.
Sunday, Sent. 11.—We were at St. Chad's, a very large am'' luminous church—We were on the Castle Hill.
Monday, Sept. 12.—We called on Dr. Adams, and travelled towards Worcester, through Wenlock; • a very mean place, though a borough—At noon, we came to Bridgenorth, and walked about the town, of which one part stands on a high rock, and part very low, by the river—There is an old tower, which, being crooked, leans so much, that it is frightful to pass by it—In the afternoon we came through Kinver, a town in Staffordshire, neat and closely built—I believe it has only one street—The road was so steep and miry, that we were forced to stop at Hartlebury, where we had a very neat inn, though it made a very poor appearance.
Tuesday, Sept. 13.—We came to Lord Sandys's, at Ombersley,
1 Thomas, the second Lord.—Ditppa.
2 Air. Gwynn, an architect of considerable celebrity, was a native of Shrewsburv, ami was at ibis time completing a bridge across the Severn, called the English Bridge.—Duppa. [See Life, vol. iii., pp. 2527.— ESitor.]
where we were treated with great civility '—The house is large —The hall is a very noble room.
Thursday, Sept. 15.—We went to Worcester, a very splendid city—The cathedral is very noble, with many remarkable monuments—The library is in the chapter-house—On the table lay the "Nuremberg Chronicle," I think, of the first edition. W« went to the china warehouse—The cathedral has a cloister—The long aisle is, in my opinion, neither so wide nor so high as that of Lichfield.
Friday, Sept. 16.—We went to Hagley, where we were disappointed of the respect and kindness that we expected.2
Saturday, Sept. 17.—We saw the house and park, which equalled mv expectation—The house is one square mass—The offices are below—The rooms of elegance on the first floor, with two stories of bedchambers, very well disposed above it—The bedchambers have low windows, which abates the dignity of the house—The park has one artificial ruin, and wants water; there is, however, one temporary cascade 3—From the farthest hill there is a very wide prospect.
Sunday, Sept. 18.—I went to church—The church is, externally, very mean, and is therefore diligently hidden by a plantation—There are in it several modern monuments of the Lytteltons —There dined with us Lord Dudley, and Sir Edward Lyttelton, of Staffordshire,4 and his lady—They were all persons of agreeable conversation—I found time to reflect on my birthday, and offered a prayer, which.I hope was heard.
Monday, Sept. 19.—We made haste away from a place where
'It was here that Johnson had as much wall-fruit as lie wished, and, as he told Mrs. Thrale, for the only time in his life.—Duppa.
2 This visit was not to Lord Lyttelton, but to his uncle [called Billv Lyttelton, afterwards, by successive creations, Lord Westcote. and Lord Lyttelton], the father of the present Lord, who lived at a house called Little Hagley.—Duppa. This gentleman was a friend of Mr. Thrale, and had some years before invited Johnson (through Mrs. Thrale) to visit him at Hagley.—Croker.
3 '- He was enraged at artificial ruins and temporary cascades, so that I wonder at his leaving his opinion of them dubious: besides he hated the Xivtteltnns, and would rejoice at an opportunitv of insulting them."— Piozzi MS.— Croker.
* John, second Viscount Dudley and Ward, who died in 1788, and Sir Edward Lyttelton, who represented Staffordshire, in several parliaments, and died in May, 1812. set. 86, a remarkable specimen of a country gentleman of the old school.—Croker.
all were offended '—In the way we visited the Leasowes—It was rain, yet we visited all the waterfalls—There are, in one place, fourteen falls in a short line — It is the next place to Ham gardens—Poor Shenstone never tasted his pension—It is not very well proved that any pension was obtained for him—I am afraid that he died of misery.—We came to Birmingham, and I sent for Wheeler, whom I found well.
Tuesday, Sept. 20.—We breakfasted with Wheeler, and visited the manufacture of Papier mache—The paper which they use is smooth whited brown; the varnish is polished with rotten stone —Wheeler gave me a tea-board—We went to Boulton's, who, with great civility, led us through his shops—I could not distinctly see his enginery—Twelve dozen of buttons for three shillings—Spoons struck at once.
Wednesday, Sept. 21.—Wheeler came to us again—We came easily to Woodstock.
Thursday, Sept. 22.—We saw Blenheim and Woodstock park —The park contains two thousand five hundred acres; about four square miles—it has red deer. Mr. Bryant showed me the library with great civility—" Durandi Rationale," 1459—•" Lascaria' Grammar," of the first edition, well printed, but much less than later editions—The first " Batrachomyomachia "—The duke sent Mr. Thrale partridges and fruit—At night we came to Oxford.
Friday, Sept. 23.—We visited Mr. Coulson—The ladies wandered about the university.
Saturday, Sept. 24.—KdO.—We dine with Mr. Coulson'— Vansittart told me his distemper—Afterwards we were at Burke's [at Bcaconsfield], where we heard of the dissolution of the parliament—We went home.
1 "Mrs. Lyttelton, ci-forant Caroline Bristow, forced me to play at whist against my liking, and her husband took away Johnson's candle that he wanted to read by at the other end of the room. Those, I trust, were the offences."—Piozzi US.— Croker.
2 Mr. Coulson was a senior Fellow of University College, in habit and appearance something like Johnson himself, and was considered in his time an Oxford character. Lord Stowell informed me that he was very eccentric.—Croker.
END OF vOL. V.