'Next day I dined with Johnson at Mr. Thrale's. He attacked Gray, calling him a "dull fellow." Boswell. "I understand he was reserved, and might appear dull in company; but surely he was not dull in poetry." Johnson. "Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull every where. He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him GREAT. He was a mechanical poet." He then repeated some ludicrous lines, which have escaped my memory, and said, "Is not that GREAT, like his Odes?" Mrs. Thrale maintained that his Odes were melodious; upon which he exclaimed,
"Weave the warp, and weave the woof;"
I added, in a solemn tone,
"The winding sheet of Edward's race".
"[italics] There [end italics] is a good line."—"Ay (said he), and the next line is a good one," (pronouncing it contemptuously;)
"Give ample verge and room enough.—"
"No, sir, there are but two good stanzas in Gray's poetry, which are in his 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard.'" He then repeated the stanza,
"For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey," &c.
mistaking one word; for instead of [italics] precincts [end italics] he said [italics] confines [end italics]. He added, "The other stanza I forget".'