Henry Thrale, one of the most opulent brewers in the kingdom, a man .of sound and cultivated understanding, rigid principles, and liberal spirit, was married to one of those clever, kind-hearted, engaging, vain, pert young women who are perpetually doing or saying what is not exactly right, but who, do or say what they may, are always agreeable.
Mrs Thrale rallied him, soothed him, coaxed him, and if she sometimes provoked him by her flippancy, made ample amends by listening to his reproofs with angelic sweetness of temper.
The kind and generous Thrale was no more; and it was soon plain that the old Streatham intimacy could not be maintained upon the same footing.
Mrs Thrale herself confessed that without her husband's assistance she did not feel able to entertain Johnson as a constant inmate of her house.
In September 1782 the place at Streatham was from motives of economy let to Lord Shelburne, and Mrs Thrale took a house at Brighton, whither Johnson accompanied her; they remained for six weeks on the old familiar footing.