Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

186

THE MONTHLY VISITOR.

[ocr errors]

cident, brushed his nose. The Highlander boo'd doon, and hoped he had not offended ; and this his lordship took so kindly, that he put a piece of mo. ney into his hands, at the same time saying, “ You are one of the most extraordinary animals Ieper saw." The Highlander, with peculiar archness, refused the money, saying, “ My lord, we naw taak any thing from one another.

Doctor JOHNSON's dictionary was not entirely written by himself: one Steward, a porter-drinking man, was employed with him; Steward's business was to collect the authorities for the different words. · Whilst this dictionary was in hand, Dr. Johnson was in debt to a inilkman, who attempted to arrest him. The doctor then lived in Gough-square. Once, on an alarm of this kind, he brought down his bed and barricadoed the door, and from the window harangued the milkman and bailiffs in these words: “ Depend upon it, I will defend this my little citadel to the utmost.” .

About this time the doctor exhibited a proof - that the most ingenuous mind may be so debased by distress as to commit mean actions. In order to raise a present supply, Johnson delivered to Mr.

, the printer, as new copy, several sheets of his dictionary already printed and paid for, for which he thus obtained a second payment. The doctor's credit with his bookseller nut being then sterling, and the occasion for money very press.ng, ways and means, to raise the supply wanted, were. necessary to prevent a refusal.'

* These circumstances the writer of the above articles received from a person who was concerned in printing the dictionary.

PUBLIC RECANTATION. WHEREAS I, George Robinson, of Leegomery, in the parish of Wellington, in the connty of Salop, weaver, did some time back, go to the house of Mr. John Roden, of Wellington, victualler, and in the presence of several people then in the house, wantonly and maliciously say to his wife, that she had fallen asleep in church during divine service, and that she awoke and sang out 'Tally O the grinder,' in the midst, and to the great disturbance of the congregation : whicli calumny has been circulated as a fact, to the great prejudice and injury of the said Mr. and Mrs. Roden, both in business and reputation ; for which an action hath been commenced against me, but on my promise not to be guilty of the like in future, and publicly asking her pardon, as well as to pay the expences already in. curred, they have consented to withdraw the same.

I do therefore now humbly beg her pardon, and declare to the world that words I spoke were without any foundation whatever, and I do promise not to be guilty of the like again. Witness my mark this 4th day of February, 1801. Thomas Pugh,

The mark + of
SJ, John Philips. GEORGE ROBINSON.

JOHNSON AND GARRICK.--. In Mr. Murphy's Life of Garrick, just published, we hope he has not omitted the following anecdote. When Johnson and Garrick were dining together in a large party, the doctor humorously ascertaining the chronology of something, expre-sed himself thus: " That was the year when I came to London with twopencehaltpenny in my pocket." Garrick overhearing him, exclaimed, “ Eh! what do you say? with twopence-halfpenny in your pocket!" " Why, yes, Davy, when I came with that sum, and you with three halfpence in thine !" What Garrick amąssed as actor and manager is pretty well known. .. BIOGRAPHICAL ANECDOTES.

OF

THE LATE PARSON PATTEN,

BY FRANCIS GROSE, F.R.S...

THE Rev. Mr. Patten, curate of Whitstable,

I was of a very singular character: he had ori. ginally been a sea chaplain, and contracted much of the tar-like roughness; he was of an athletic make, and had some wit and humour, not restrained by any very strict ideas of professional propriety. He was for many years curate of Whitstable, at a very small stipend, and used to travel, to serve that and another church, in a butcher's cart.--Whitstable is situated by the sea-side, and is extremely agueish; so that had he been dismissed, it would not have been very easy for the Archbishop of Canterbury (who was the rector) to have procured another curate at the same price. This be well knew, and presuming on it, was a terror to every new archbishop.

Mr. Patten was not a rigid high priest: he openly kept a mistress ; and on any one going into church in sermon time, and shewing him a lemon, he would instantly conclude his disconrse and adjourn to the alehouse. He used to call the prebendaries of Canterbury, cardinals, and all the young fellows of his acquaintance who came over to Whitstable, bis nepliews.

When Di. Wake was archbishop, some tale. bearer informed his grace that Patten had given a marriage certificate, which he had signed by the title of Bishop of Whitstable! At his next visitation the archbishop sternly asked Mr. Patten whether that report was true. To which Patten replied, " I shall answer your grace's question by

it?"

another— are you fool enough to take notice of

When Dr. Secker was enthroned, or soon after, he gave a charge to his clergy, and among other articles found great fault with the scanty allowance frequently paid to curates. Patten, who was there, (though not summoned, the bishop, fearful of some of his remarks, having ordered the proctor to leave bim out of the list,) got up, and bowing to the archbishop, said with a loud voice, " I thank your grace.” After the charge was over, the proctor by mistake called the Rev. Mr. Patten, who, bustling through the crowd, came up to the archbishop; he seeing he could not avoid it, began with the usual question, “ You are, Sir, I think, curate of Whitstable ?” To which Patten replied, “ I am, may it please your grace, and have for it received from your grace's predecessors the paltry sum of thirty pounds per annum only, although the living brings in above three hundred !” “ Don't enlarge," said the archbishop. “ No, but I hope your grace will,” rejoined Mr. Patten. The following story, of Parson Patten laying a ghost,

I bad from his own mouth. A substantial farmer, married to a second wife, and who had a son grown up to man's estate, frequently promised to take him in as a partner in his farm, or at least to leave it to him at his decease ; but having neglected to do either, on his death, his widow took possession of the lease, and carried on the business, the son in vain urging the father's promise, and requesting she would at least take him as a partner. In order to terrify his mother into a compliance, he used to rise at midnight, and with hideous groans to drag the waggon-chain about the yard and outhouses, circulating a report that this noise was occasioned by his father's ghost, and that he would not rest quietly in his grave till his promise to his son was completed. This was carried on for some time, till at length the widow, who had no rehish for giving up any part of the farm, applied to Mr. Patten (in whose parish the farm lay) for his advice, saying she would have the ghost laid in the Red Sea, if he could do it. Patteri, though no belicver in ghosts, resolved to turn this matter to his own advantage, and putting on a grave counte. nance, told her, that what she required was no sinall matter : that to lay a ghost, besides a good stock of courage, required much learning, as the whole form must necessarily be pronounced in Latin ; wherefore he could not afford to do it under a guinea. The widow hereupon demurred for some time; but at length, tired out with the freaks of the supposed ghost, who every day became more and more out. rageous, agreed to give it.. Patten, moreover, 1's. quired a fire in the best parlour, two candles, and a large bowl of punch. These being all prepared, the parson took his post, expecting the ghost. The farmer's son, who did not know the sort of man he had to deal with, thought he could frighten the parson, and accordingly at twelve began his perame bulation. No sooner did Patten hear his chain and groans than be sallied forth, and without any far, ther ceremony seized the supposed ghost by the collar, belabouring him at the same time heartily with a good oak sapling. The young farmer, finding hiinself by no means a match for his opponent, fell on his knees, and confessed the contrivance, be. seeching the parsun at the same time not to expose him, nor reveal it to his mother-in-law, who would have been glad of the pretence to turn him out of the house. The parson, on the young man's promise never to disturb the house again, let him go, and uudertook to settle matters with his mother-in-. law.

« ПредишнаНапред »