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obliged by any favourable notice which they shall have the honour of receiving from you. I am, sir, your most humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
The following is another instance of his active benevolence:
“ TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
"2d June, 1783. “ DEAR SIR,-I have sent you some of my godson's' performances, of which I do not pretend to form any opinion. When I took the liberty of mentioning him to you, I did not know what I have since been told, that Mr. Moser had admitted him among the students of the Academy. What more can be done for him, I earnestly entreat you to consider; for I am very desirous that he should derive some advantage from my connexion with him. If you are inclined to see him, I will bring him to wait on you at any time that you shall be pleased to appoint. I am, sir, your most humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
Letters, vol. ii.
[“ TO MRS. THRALE.
6 Oxford, Ilth June, 1783. “ Yesterday I came to Oxford without fatigue or inconvenience. I read in the coach before dinner. I dined moderately, and slept well; but find my breath not free this morning.
“ Dr. Edwards, to whom I wrote of my purpose to come, has defeated his own kindness by its excess. He has
gone out of his own rooms for my reception; and therefore I cannot decently stay long, unless I can change my abode, which it will not be very easy to do: nor do I know what attractions I shall find here. Here is Miss Moore at Dr. Adams's, with whom I shall dine to-morrow.”
“ London, 13th June, 1783. “ Seward called on me yesterday. He is going only for a few weeks—first to Paris, and then to Flanders, to contemplate the pictures of Claude Loraine; and he asked me if that was not as good a way as any of spending time—that time which returns no more-of which, however, a great part seems to be very foolishly spent, even by the wisest and the best.
· Son of Mr. Samuel Paterson.-BogWELL. (Probably a brother of him mentioned ante, vol. iii. p. 455.-Ed.]
“ Poor Lawrence' and his youngest son died almost on the same day.”]
My anxious apprehensions at parting with him this year proved to be but too well founded; for not long afterwards he had a dreadful stroke of the palsy, of which there are very full and accurate accounts in letters written by himself, to show with what composure of mind and resignation to the Divine Will his steady piety enabled him to behave. “ TO MR. EDMUND ALLEN.
66 17th June, 1783. “ It has pleased God this morning to deprive me of the powers of speech; and as I do not know but that it may be his further good pleasure to deprive me soon of my senses, I request you will, on the receipt of this note, come to me, and act for me as the exigences of my case may require. I am sincerely yours,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
6 TO THE REVEREND DR. JOHN TAYLOR.
“ 17th June, 1783. “ DEAR SIR,—It has pleased God, by a paralytick stroke in the night, to deprive me of speech.
“I am very desirous of Dr. Heberden's assistance, as I think my case is not past remedy. Let me see you as soon as it is possible. Bring Dr. Heberden with you, if you can; but come yourself at all events. I am glad you are so well when I am so dreadfully attacked.
“I think that by a speedy application of stimulants much may be done. I question if a vomit, vigorous and rough, would not rouse the organs of speech to action. As it is too early to send, I will try to recollect what I can that can be suspected to have brought on this dreadful distress.
I have been accustomed to bleed frequently for an asthmatick complaint; but have forborne for some time by Dr. Pepys's persuasion, who perceived my legs beginning to swell. I sometimes alleviate a painful, or, more properly, an oppressive con
(Dr. Lawrence, born in 1711, died in 1783, the 13th of June. His son, the Reverend J. Lawrence, died on the 15th. The Biographical Dictionary says that Johnson's Latin Ode to Dr. Lawrence was on the death of one of his sons, who died in India. It would rather appear to have been written on the fatal illness of this son ; who, however, survived his father two days.-ED.]
striction of my chest, by opiates; and have lately taken opium frequently; but the last, or two last times, in smaller quantities. My largest dose is three grains, and last night I took but two. You will suggest these things (and they are all that I can call to mind) to Dr. Heberden. I am, &c. “ SAM. JOHNSON.”
Two days after he wrote thus to Mrs. Thrale":
“On Monday, the 16th, I sat for my picture, and walked a considerable
with little inconvenience. In the afternoon and evening I felt myself light and easy, and began to plan schemes of life. Thus I went to bed, and in a short time waked and sat up, as has been long my custom, when I felt a confusion and indistinctness in my head, which lasted, I suppose,
about half a minute. I was alarmed, and prayed God, that however he might afflict my body, he would spare my understanding. This prayer, that I might try the integrity of my faculties, I made in Latin verse. The lines were not very good, but I knew them not to be very good: I made them easily, and concluded myself to be unimpaired in my faculties.
“Soon after I perceived that I had suffered a paralytick stroke, and that my speech was taken from me.
I had no pain, and so little dejection in this dreadful state, that I wondered at my own apathy, and considered that perhaps death itself, when it should come, would excite less horrour than seems now to attend it.
“ In order to rouse the vocal organs, I took two drams. Wine has been celebrated for the production of eloquence. I put myself into violent motion, and I think repeated it; but all was vain. I then went to bed, and, strange as it may seem, I think slept. When I saw light, it was time to contrive what I should do. Though God stopped my speech, he left me my hand: I enjoyed a mercy which was not granted to my dear friend Lawrence, who now perhaps overlooks me as I am writing, and rejoices that I have what he wanted. My first note was necessarily to my servant, who came in talking, and could not immediately comprehend why he should read what I put into his hands.
“ I then wrote a card to Mr. Allen, that I might have a discreet friend at hand, to act as occasion should require. In penning this note I had some difficulty: my hand, I knew not how nor why, made wrong letters. I then wrote to Dr. Taylor
· Vol. ii.. p. 268, of Mrs. Thrale's Collection.-Boswell.
to come to me, and bring Dr. Heberden; and I sent to Dr. Brocklesby, who is my neighbour. My physicians are very friendly, and give me great hopes; but you may imagine my situation. I have so far recovered my vocal powers, as to repeat the Lord's Prayer with no imperfect articulation. My memory, I hope, yet remains as it was; but such an attack produces solicitude for the safety of every faculty.”
6 TO MR. THOMAS DAVIES.
“ 18th June, 1783. “DEAR SIR, I have had, indeed, a very heavy blow; but God, who yet spares my life, I humbly hope will spare my understanding and restore my speech. As I am not at all helpless, I want no particular assistance, but am strongly affected by Mrs. Davies's tenderness; and when I think she can do me good, shall be very glad to call upon her. I had ordered friends to be shut out; but one or two have found the
in ; and if you come you shall be admitted; for I know not whom I can see that will bring more amusement on his tongue, or more kindness in his heart. I am, &c. - SAM. JOHNSON.”
It gives me great pleasure to preserve such a memorial of Johnson's regard for Mr. Davies, to whom I was indebted for my introduction to him! He indeed loved Davies cordially, of which I shall give the following little evidence :-One day when he had treated him with too much asperity, Tom, who was not without pride and spirit, went off in a passion; but he had hardly reached home, when Frank, who had been sent after him, delivered this note: “ Come, come, dear Davies, I am always sorry when we quarrel; send me word that we are friends.”
[" TO MRS THRALE.
Letters, “ London, 20th June, 1783.
vol. ii. “ You will forgive the gross images that disease must neces.
p. 273. sarily present. Dr. Lawrence said that medical treatises should be always in Latin.
1 Poor Derrick, however, though he did not himself introduce me to Dr. Johnson as he promised, had the merit of introducing me to Davies, the immediate introductor,-BOSWELL.
“I never had any distortion of the countenance but what Dr. Brocklesby called a little prolapsus, which went away the second day.
“I was this day directed to eat flesh, and I dined very copiously upon roasted lamb and boiled pease. I then went to sleep in a chair; and when I waked, I found Dr. Brocklesby sitting by me, and fell to talking with him in such a manner as made me glad, and I hope made me thankful. The doctor fell to repeating Juvenal's ninth satire; but I let him see that the province was mine.
“I am to take wine to-night, and hope it will do me good.”
“ DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. LUCY PORTER.
“ London, 25th June, 1783. - DEAR MADAM, 11-Since the
papers have given an account of my illness, it is proper that I should give my friends some account of it myself.
Very early in the morning of the 16th of this month I perceived my speech taken from me. When it was light I sat down and wrote such directions as appeared proper. Dr. Heberden and Dr. Brocklesby were called. Blisters were applied, and medicines given. Before night I began to speak with some freedom, which has been increasing ever since, so that I have now very little impediment in my utterance. Dr. Heberden took his leave this morning.
“ Since I received this stroke I have in other respects been better than I was before, and hope yet to have a comfortable
Let me have your prayers. If writing is not troublesome, let me know whether pretty well, and how you have passed the winter and spring.
“ Make my compliments to all my friends. I am, dear madam, your most humble servant, “ SAM. JOHNSON.”
66 TO MRS. THRALE.
“ London, 28th June, 1783. “ Your letter is just such as I desire, and as from you I hope always to deserve.
“The black dog I hope always to resist, and in time to drive, though I am deprived of almost all those that used to help me. The neighbourhood is impoverished. I had once Richardson
1 (Mistake for 17th-Ed.] 9 [See ante, vol. iv. p. 292.-Ep.1