Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/368



In the 292.^ page of her Anecdotes, the frontless Hester Lynch says that «having been crossed in her intentions of going abroad, she found it convenient, for every reason of health, peace and pecuniary circumstances, to retire to Bath, where she knew that doctor Johnson would not follow her, and where she would for that reason command some little portion of time for her own use, a thing impossible while she remained at Streatham or at London, as her hours, carriage and servants had long been at his command; who would not rise in the morning till twelve o’ clock perhaps, and oblige her to make breakfast for him till the beli rung for dinner, though much displeased if the toilet was neglected, and though much of the time they passed together was spent in blaming or deriding very justly her neglect of economy, and waste of that money which might make many families happy».

These few lines of Hester Lynch are a mere and most detestable lump of falsehoods, only compacted together for a filthy purpose of her own, which shall by and by be completely detected and exposed. She «crossed in her intention of going abroad»? But pray, when did that intention come into her head? Certainly not long before 1778 or 1779, when^she began to lose ali hope of having any more children, as, while that hope remained, she declared to me and to others that she would stay at home and endeavour at one or two more. That intention of hers must therefore have taken rise in her head about the time that her child-bearing in ali human probability was quite over; but when that time came, by whom was she crossed in that intention, except it were by the private exhortations of Piozzi, as he was not to be of the party? By mr. Thrale surely she was not: nay, so far was he from crossing her, that it was she herself who crossed him in that very intention. Mr. Thrale eagerly wished to go to Italy with the same company with which he had some time before taken a short excursion to Paris and Fontainebleau; but that eagerness of his, in conjunction with doctor Johnson, she repressed as much as she could, as they both justly thought, that the state of his health rendered him unfit