« ПредишнаНапред »
and Boswell had met in Italy, and had ascended to the top of Vesuvius together. They recapitulated various circumstances of their expedition with much pleasantness and good-humour: and among other things, Boswell reminded Wilkes, with no ordinary satisfaction, of the exquisite Lacryına Christi, which they had found at a hermitage for the accommodation of travellers, half-way up the mountain : “ Pray
v brother Wilkes,” said the citizen, “what is Lacryma Christi?” The answer which is here omitted, joined the most perfect wit, to the grossest blasphemy.
But neither would Wilkes spare Boswell, or conceal before him his prejudices against the Scotch nation. He seemed to seize, with particular avi. dity, every opportunity to play upon Boswell, when any thing relating to Scotland was introduced. “ You must acknowledge, my friend Wilkes,” observed Boswell one day, “that the approach to Edinburgh from the London road, presents a very picturesque and interesting picture.” “Why so it perhaps may,” returned Wilkes,“ but when I was there, the wind was in my face, and it brought with it such a confounded stink, that I was obliged to keep my handkerchief to iny nose, the whole of the way, and could see nothing of the prospect.”
Not long afterwards, Boswell was speaking of some Scotch nobleman, who was very fond of planting, and had ornamented his domain with some very
fine and beautiful forest-trees. " Where could this possibly be,” said Wilkes; “I travelled through the country with an American servant, and after we had visited various places in different parts of Scotland, I enquired of him what his general opinion was of the country?" " Oh, Sir!" replied the American,
" " it is finely cleared.”
There was a heavy Lord Mayor in Wilkes's time, who, by persevering steadily in the pursuit of one object, accumulated an immense fortune, and rose progressively from the dignity of Common-councilman to the State-coach, and the Mansion-house. His first entrance into life was as a common bricklayer. At one of the Old Bailey dinners, his lordship, after a sumptuous repast on turbot and venison, was eating an immense quantity of butter with his cheese-“Why brother,” said Wilkes, “
you lay it on with a trowel.”
There is a singular anecdote of this same Lord Mayor, demonstrative of the parsimonious princi. ples, by the exercise of which he doubtless rose to opulence. His only son was brought up in the same mean profession, and one day fell from a scaffold, and was killed by the fall. The father, who was present, on seeing the accident, only exclaimed, « Take care of his watch."
In the riots of the year 1780, which at the same time endangered and disgraced the metropolis,
Wilkes Wilkes was lamenting the ungovernable violence of a London mob;upon this, some brother citizen took him up shortly, and reminded him of the disturbances of which he had formerly been the occasion. Sir," returned Wilkes, “I never was a Wilkite."
He was not apt to express outwardly any thing like chagrin or mortification, but he certainly took his disappointment at Brentford, the last time that he offered himself as candidate for Middlesex, very heavily to heart. 6. I should much have liked," he would
to have died in my geers.” Upon a similar occasion he exclaimed, “I can only compare myself to an exhausted volcano.”
Among other peculiarities and contradictions which marked Wilkes's character, was a passion he had for collecting bibles, of which he had certainly obtained a great number of curious editions. But he was nevertheless consistent in his profligacy, and whenever the subject of religion or scripture was introduced, treated both with the keenest ridi. cule.
He called one morning upon a friend who resided in a very close and retired situation in the city, but who had a small opening before his house, of a few yards square, and two plants, which once looked like lilacs, in large tubs, adorned his windows. Men were employed in painting the outside of the
house. “ Brother," said Wilkes to his friend, " suffer me to plead in behalf of these two poor lilacs in the tubs ; pray let them be painted too."
Wilkes was particularly fond of the society of learned men, though not by any means profoundly erudite himself. On some distinguished Greek scholar being named to him, he expressed a great desire to have his acquaintance. “ Pray make me know him," says Wilkes, 6 and tell him I should very much like pergræcari * with him.” To which the person alluded to would have made no kind of objection.
There were other broken and unfinished scraps in the Manuscript about Wilkes, which in appearance were intended to revive the recollection of circumstances to be detailed at some hour of leisure. There is, however, this remark at the end.
Wilkes was of that distinguished eminence for facetiousness and humour, it may indeed be said for wit, that it was the fashion of the day to ascribe any very striking and popular bon mot to him, and about the time of his disappearing from the stage, to him or Jekyll. They have both, in all probability, had the reputation of saying what neither of them ever uttered; though both were eminently
Pergræcari means to spend the day and night is drinking.
distinguished for saying naturally and unaffectedly innumerable good things,
A few of these children of questionable parentage are preserved. No matter to which of the above, or to whom, they belong.
Querist. Where, observed a Roman Catholic, ja warm dispute with a Protestant, where was your religion before Luther? 2. Did
your face this morning? A. Yes.
Where was your face before it was washed?
I wish you at the devil, said somebody to Wilkes, · I don't wish
there, Why. Because I never wish to meet you again.
Where the devil do you come from? said Wilkes, to a beggar in the Isle of Wight,
From the deyil.
The followifig may with greater probability bike assigned to Jekyll than to Wilkes.