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obliged by any favourable notice which they shall 1783. have the honour of receiving from you.
Ætat. 74. “ I am, Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, " London, May 31, 1783.
“ SAM. Johnson."
The following is another instance of his active benevolence:
TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
“ I have sent you some of my god-son's? performances, of which I do not pretend to form any opinion. When I took the liberty of mentioning him to you, I do 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 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, « June 2, 1783.
" 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 shew with
? Son of Mr. Samuel Patterson,
1783. what. composure of mind, and resignation to the Ætat. 742
Divine Will, his steady piety enabled him to behave.
TO MR. EDMUND ALLEN.
“ 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.
66 I am,
" SAM. JOHNSON.”'
« June 17, 1783.
TO THE REVEREND DR. JOHN TAYLOR.
“ IT has pleased God, by a paralytick stroke in the right, 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
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 stimuJants 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 haye forborne for
some time by Dr. Pepys's persuasion, who perceived 1783. my legs beginning to swell. I sometimes alleviate a Ætat. 74. painful, or more properly an oppressive, constriction 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. « June 17, 1783.
Two days after he wrote thus to Mrs. Thrale:
“ On Monday, the 16th, I sat for my picture, and walked a considerable way 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
I had no pain, and so little dejection in this dreadful state, that I wondered at my own apathy,
$ Vol. II. p. 268, of Mrs. Thrale's Collection. VCI, IV,
1783. and considered that perhaps death itself, when it
should come, would excite less horrour than seems Ætat. 74.
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."
1783. TO MR. THOMAS DAVIES.
Etat. 74. s
“ 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 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. er June 18, 1783.
« 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."
: 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,