Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/370



reason that she married the singing-master, as most likely to satisfy her irresistible desire of going abroad.

She says next that «reasons of health, peace, and pecuniary circumstances, made her resolve to go to Bath»; but these three reasons are nothing but thfee falsehoods more. Her «health» was at that time, as it hás been to this day, quite sound and stoat; her «peace» she could have enjoyed at Streatham or London, as w.ell -as at Bath, as nobody had either interest, will, or power to disturb it; and with regard to «pecuniary circumstances», was she stinted when she went to Bath? No, not at al) ; as she had tlien exactly «eight hundred and forty pounds», more than she had any honest occasion for, as we shall presently see.

«I knew»f sheproceeds, «that doctor Johnson would not follow me to Bath»; bút»I say that she kn.ew the contrary. The doctor followed her repeátédly to Brigthelmstone, followed her into Wales, followed her to France, and wherever she chose to have him for a follo wer, Why should he have refused follo wing her toBath, if she had not wanted him away, now especially that, ignorane, quite ignorant of her pretty motives for retiring there, he fondly fancied thát she wanted comfort on account of mr. Thrale’s death? No doubt but, thoiigh ever so reluctant to partake in her supposed afflíction, he would have made it a point of honour, if not of conscience, to go with her any where, in England, or out of England, to alleviate it; but she, stood in no need of his compassiori: and h^er assertion that «she knew he would not follow her tò Báth» was a fífth wilful falsehood and a total misrepresentation of the doctor’s friendly character, always ready, sick or well, to oblige her and to please her.

But pray, what could have kept her «from commanding any portion», or the .whole, .«of her time for her own use», either at Strettham, in London, or any where else, if she had chosen to have every bit of it to herself? Where was the «impossibílity» of it, as she terms it? Would Johnson, or any body else, have intruded upon her any where, on her giving the least intimation that she wished for none of their company or visits? Certainly not in this age of obsequiousness to the