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that a suicide may be saved. “If,' says he, it should be objected that what I maintain may encourage suicide, I answer, I am not to tell a lie to prevent it.” BOSWELL : But does not the text say, “ As the tree falls, so it must lie ?'JOHNSON : “Yes, Sir ; as the tree falls : but,” after a little pause,

“that is meant as to the general state of the tree, not what is the effect of a sudden blast.' In short, he interpreted the expression as referring to condition, not to position. The common notion, therefore, seems to be erroneous ; and Shenstone's witty remark on divines trying to give the tree a jerk upon a death-bed, to make it lie favourably, is not well founded.

I asked him what works of Richard Baxter's I should read. He said, “Read any of them ; they are all good.” He said, “Get as much force of mind as you can.

Live within your income. Always have something saved at the end of the year. Let your imports be more than your exports, and you'll never go far wrong.'

I assured him, that in the extensive and various range of his acquaintance there never had been any one who had a more sincere respect and affection for him than I had. He said, “I believe it, Sir. Were I in distress, there is no man to whom I should sooner come than to you. I should like to come and have a cottage in your park, toddle about, live mostly on milk, and be taken care of by Mrs. Boswell. She and I are good friends now-are we not ?"

Talking of devotion, he said, “ Though it be true that God dwelleth not in temples made with hands,' yet in this state of being, our minds are more piously affected in places appropriated to divine worship, than in others. Some people have a particular room in their houses, where they say their prayers ; of which I do not disapprove, as it may animate their devotion.”

He embraced me, and gave me his blessing, as usual when I was leaving him for any length of time. I walked from his door to-day, with a fearful apprehension of what might happen before I returned.


London, May 31, 1783 “The bringer of this letter is the father of Miss Philips,' a singer, who comes to try her voice on the stage at Dublin.

“Mr. Philips is one of my old friends; and as I am of opinion that neither he nor his daughter will do anything that can disgrace their benefactors, I take the liberty of entreating you to countenance and protect them so far as may be suitable to your station and character ;% and shall consider myself as obliged by any favourable notice which they shall have the honour of receiving from you. “I am, Sir, your most humble servant,

“SAM. JOHNSON.” 1 Now the celebrated Mrs. Crouch.-Boswell.

2 Mr. Windham was at this time in Dublin, Secretary to the Earl of Northington then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.- Boswell.

The following is another instance of his active benevolence :



June 2, 1783. “I have sent you some of my godson's I 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 admitteil 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 connection 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.” 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.

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June 17, 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 farther 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 exigencies of my case may require.

I am, sincerely yours,




June 17, 1783 “It has pleased God, by a paralytic 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 asthmatic 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, constriction of my chest, by opiates ; and have lately taken opium

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1 Son of Mr Samuel Paterson.-BOSWELI..

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 :1

On Monday, the 16th, I sat for my picture [to Miss Reynolds], and walked a considerable way with ettle inconvenience. In the afternoon anc eveniny I felt myself light and ease, 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 confusior ind 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 paralytic 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 horror than seemis 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 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 very imperfect articulation. My memory, I hope, yet remains as it was; but such an attack produces solicitude for the safety of every faculty."



June 18, 1783. “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

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have found the way 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.,

6 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 nim.? 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.'


London, July 3, 1783. “Your anxiety about my health is very friendly, and very agreeable with your general kindness. I have, indeed, had a very frightful blow. On the 17th of last month, about three in the morning, as near as I can guess, I perceived myself almost totally deprived of speech. I had no pain. My organs were so obstructed that I could say no, but could scarcely say yes. I wrote the necessary directions, for it pleased God to spare my hand, and sent for Dr. Heberden and Dr. Brocklesby. Between the time in which I discovered my own disorder, and that in which I sent for the doctors, I had, I believe, in spite of my surprise and solicitude, a little sleep, and nature began to renew its operations. They came and gave the directions which the disease required, and from that time I have been continually improving in articulation. I can now speak ; but the nerves are weak, and I cannot continue discourse long; but strength, I hope, will return. The physicians consider me as cured. I was last Sunday at church. On Tuesday I took an airing to Hampstead, and dined with the Club, where Lord Palmerston was proposed, and, against my opinion, was rejected.* I designed to go next week with Mr. Langton, to Rochester, where I purpose to stay about ten days, and then try some other air. I have many kind invitations. Your brother has very frequently inquired after me. Most of my friends have, indeed, been very attentive. Thank dear Lord Hailes for his present.

“I hope you found at your return everything gay and prosperous, and your lady in particular, quite recovered and confirmed. Pay her my respects. I am, dear Sir, your must humble servant,


London, July 5, 1783. “The account which you give of your health is but melancholy. May it please God to restore you. My disease affected my speech, and still continues,

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.

% His lordship was soon after chosen, and is now a member of the Club.-BOSWELL.

in some degree, to obstruct my utterance; my voice is distinct enough for a while ; but the organs being still weak are quickly weary; but in other respects I am, I think, rather better than I have lately been; and can let you know my state without the help of any other hand.

“In the opinion of my friends, and in my own, I am gradually mending The physicians consider me as cured, and I had leave four days ago, to wash the cantharides from my head. Last Tuesday 1 dined at the Club.

“I am going next week into Kent, and purpose to change the air frequently this summer ; whether I shall wander so far as Staffordshire I cannot tell. I should be glad to come. Return my thanks to Mrs. Cobh, and Mr. Pearson, and all that have shown attention to me.

“Let us, my dear, pray for one another, and consider our sufferings as notices mercifully given us to prepare ourselves for another state.

“I live now but in a melancholy way. My old friend Mr. Levett is dead, who lived with me in the house, and was useful and companionable; Mrs. Desmoulins is gone away; and Mrs. Williams is so much decayed, that she can add little to another's gratifications. The world passes away, and we are passing with it ; but there is, doubtless, another world, which will endure for ever. Let us all fit ourselves for it.

I am, &c.,


Such was the general vigour of his constitution, that he recovered from this alarming and severe attack with wonderful quickness ; so that in July he was able to make a visit to Mr. Langton at Rochester, where he passed about a fortnight, and made little excursions as easily as at any time of his life. In August he went as far as the neighbourhood of Salisbury, to Heale, the seat of William Bowles, Esq., a gentleman whom I have heard him praise for exemplary religious order in his family. In his diary I find a short but honourable mention of this visit :

August 28, I came to Heale without fatigue. 30, I am entertained quite to my mind.” 1


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* In his letter to Mrs. Thrale, written on the 13th of August; we find the following melancholy paragraph :

“I am now broken with disease, without the alleviation of familiar friendship or do. mestic society: I have no middle state between clamour and silence, between general conversation and self-tormenting solitude. Levett is dead, and poor Williams is making haste to die: I know not if she will ever more come out of her chamber."

In a subsequent letter, August 26, he adds, Mrs. Williams fancies now and then that she grows better ; but her vital powers appear to be slowly burning out. Nobody thinks, however, that she will very soon be quite wasted, and as she suffers me to be of very little use to her I have determined to pass some time with Mr. Bowles, near Salisbury, and have taken a place for Thursday.

“Some benefit may be perhaps received from change of air, some from change of company, and some from mere change of place. It is not easy to grow well in a chamber where one has long been sick, and where everything seen, and every person speaking, revives and impresses images of pain. Though it be true that no man can run away from himself, yet he may escape from many causes of useless uneasiness. That the mind is its own place, is the boast of a fallen angel that had learned to lie. External locality has great effects, at least upon all embodied beings. I hope this little joumey will afford me at least some suspense of melancholy.”—MALONE.

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