Page:Johnsonian Miscellanies II.djvu/186

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178 Anecdotes by Hannah More.

to a little good prose? Johnson's Hebrides or Walton's Lives/ &c. Trevelyan's Macaulay, ed. 1877, i. 35.

Macaulay wrote to the editor of the Edinburgh Review in 1837 : 'Hannah More was exactly the very last person in the world about whom I should choose to write a critique. She was a very kind friend to me from childhood. Her notice first called out my literary tastes. Her presents laid the foundation of my library. She was to me what Ninon was to Voltaire, begging her pardon for comparing her to a strumpet, and yours for comparing myself to a great man. She really was a second mother to me. I have a real affection for her memory. I, therefore, could not write about her, unless I wrote in her praise ; and all the praise which I could give to her writings, even after straining my conscience in her favour, would be far indeed from satisfying any of her admirers. I will try my hand on Temple and on Lord Clive.' Macvey Napier Corres., p. 192.

Macaulay's sister (afterwards Lady Trevelyan) was christened Hannah More. He wrote to tier when he Was reviewing Croker's Boswell\ 'Trie lady whom Johnson abused for flattering him was certainly, according to Croker, Hannah More [Life, iii. 293]. Another ill-natured sentence about a Bath lady whom Johnson called "empty-headed" is also applied to your godmother.' Trevelyan's Macaulay, ed. 1877, i. 231. For Croker's assertion that the Bath lady (Life, iii. 48) was Hannah More there was no foundation. Her Memoirs published three years later than his Boswell show that she was in London when this epithet was applied by Johnson to ' a lady then in Bath.' ' I find,' she wrote to her sister, ' that Mr. Boswell called upon you at Bristol with Dr. Johnson.' Post, p. 1 85, n.

Nearly fifty years after she first met Johnson, De Quihcey described her conversation as * brilliant and instructive.' De Quincey's Works, ed. 1872, xvi. 504.]

THE desire Hannah More had long felt to see Dr. Johnson, was speedily gratified. Her first introduction to him took place at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who prepared her, as he handed her upstairs, for the possibility of his being in one of his moods of sadness and silenee.


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