Dr Johnson pp 84-88 | Cite as

Life at Streatham II

  • Thomas Campbell
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


16 [March 1775] — a fair day — dined with Mr Thrale along with Dr Johnson and Baretti.… Johnson, you are the very man Lord Chesterfield describes. A Hottentot indeed.1 And though your abilities are respectable, you never can be respected yourself. He has the aspect of an idiot — without the faintest ray of sense gleaming from any one feature. With the most awkward garb & unpowdered grey wig on one side only of his head, he is forever dancing the devil’s jig, & sometimes he makes the most drivelling effort to whistle some thought in his absent paroxisms. He came up to me & took me by the hand — then sat down on a sofa, & mumbled out that he had heard two papers had appeared against him in the course of this week — one of which was that he was to go to Ireland next Summer in order to abuse the hospitality of that place also, &c. His awkardness at table is just what Chesterfield described, & his roughness of manners kept pace with that. When Mrs Thrale quoted something from Foster’s Sermons2 he flew in a passion & said that Foster was a man of mean ability, & of no original thinking. All which though I took to be most true yet I held it not meet to have it to set down.


Good Company Great Pleasure Good Writer Intimate Friend Original Thinking 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Campbell

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