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Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson by Hester Lynch Piozzi
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Mrs. Piozzi, by her second marriage, was by her first marriage the Mrs.
Thrale in whose house at Streatham Doctor Johnson was, after the year of
his first introduction, 1765, in days of infirmity, an honoured and a
cherished friend. The year of the beginning of the friendship was the year
in which Johnson, fifty-six years old, obtained his degree of LL.D. from
Dublin, and--though he never called himself Doctor--was thenceforth called
Doctor by all his friends.

Before her marriage Mrs. Piozzi had been Miss Hesther Lynch Salusbury, a
young lady of a good Welsh family. She was born in the year 174O, and she
lived until the year 1821. She celebrated her eightieth birthday on the
27th of January, 182O, by a concert, ball, and supper to six or seven
hundred people, and led off the dancing at the ball with an adopted son for
partner. When Johnson was first introduced to her, as Mrs. Thrale, she was
a lively, plump little lady, twenty-five years old, short of stature, broad
of build, with an animated face, touched, according to the fashion of life
in her early years, with rouge, which she continued to use when she found
that it had spoilt her complexion. Her hands were rather coarse, but her
handwriting was delicate.

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