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[55] testimony of very many of our countrymen, who have just returned from France and Germany. But not only Americans, but Englishmen go every day to the Continent, without molestation. I pray you, therefore, be perfectly easy, for I shall run no risk .... We left Liverpool on the 17th, and arrived here on the 25th, and are just settled in our respective lodgings, and ready to present our letters of introduction.


May 30.—To-day I dined at Mr. William Vaughan's, the brother of Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, of Hallowell, and of Mr. John Vaughan, of Philadelphia, and as actively kind and benevolent as either of them. Dr. Rees, the editor of the Cyclopaedia, was there, and, though now past seventy, and oppressed with the hydrothorax, he still retains so much of the vigor and vivacity of youth, that I think he may yet live to complete the great work he has undertaken. He is a specimen, in excellent preservation, of the men of letters of the last century, and is full of stories in relation to them, which are very amusing. He was present, and gave us a lively account of Dilly's famous dinner, when Wilkes won his way, as Boswell says, by his wit and good-humor, but, as Dr. Rees says, by the grossest flattery, to Dr. Johnson's heart. Dr. Rees said, that long before Johnson's death it was understood that Boswell was to be his biographer, and that he always courted Boswell more than anybody else, that he might be sure of the point of view in which he was to be exhibited to posterity. Boswell, in his turn, ruined his fortune and alienated the affections of his wife, by living so much of his time—at considerable expense—in London, that he might be near his subject and in good society.

June 6.—We dined at Mr. Vaughan's with several men of letters, but I saw little of them, excepting Mr. Sharp, formerly a Member of Parliament, and who, from his talents in society, has been called ‘Conversation Sharp.’ He has been made an associate of most of the literary clubs in London, from the days of Burke down to the present time. He told me a great many amusing anecdotes of them, and particularly of Burke, Porson, and Grattan, with whom he had been intimate; and occupied the dinner-time as pleasantly as the same number of hours have passed with me in England.

He gave me a new reading in Macbeth, from Henderson, to whom Mrs. Siddons once read her part for correction, when Mr. Sharp was present. The common pointing and emphasis is:—

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