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wrote then, he had no conception he was imposing upon the world, though they were frequently written from very slender materials, and often frou none at all, the mere coinage of his own imagination. He never wrote aạy part of his works with equal velocity. Three columns of the Magazine, in au hour, was no uncommon effort, which was faster than most persons
could have transcribed that quavrity. Of bis friend Cave, he always spoke with great affection. Yes, (said he,) Cave, (who never looked out of his window, but with a view to the Gentleman's Magazine,) was a penurious pay-master; he would coutract for lines by the huvdred, and expect the long hundred : but he was a good man, and always delighted to have his friends at bis table.
Wben talking of a regular edition of his own works, he said, that he had power, (from the booksellers,] to print such an edition, if his healıb admitted it; but had no power to assigo over any edition, vuless he could add notes, and so alter thein as to make them new works; whicb his state of health forbade him to think of. I may possibly live, (said he,) or rather breathe, three days, perhaps three weeks; but find myself daily and gradually weaker.”
He said at another time, three or four days only before bis death, speaking of the little fear he had of undergoing a chirurgical operation, I would give one of these legs for a year inore of life, I mean of comfortable life, not such as that wbich I now suffer;-aud lamented much his inability to read during his hours of restlessness. I used formerly, The added) when sleepless in bed, to reud like a Turk.
Whilst confined by his last illness, it was his regular practice to have the church-rervice read to him, by some attentive and friendly Divine. The Rev. Mr. Hoole performed this kind office in iny presence for the last time, when, by his own desire, no more than the litany was read ; in which his responses were in the deep and sonorous voice which Mr. Boswell has occasionally noticed, and with the most profound devotion that can be imagined. His hearing not being quite perfect, he more than once interrupted Mr. Hoole, with, Louder, my dear Sir, louder, I entreat you, or you pray in vain !-and, when the service was ended, he, with great earnestness, turned round to an excellent lady who was present, saying, I thank you, Madam, very heartily, for your kindness in joining me in this solemn exercise. Live well, I conjure you ; and you will not feel the compunction at the last, which I now feel.
So truly humble were the thoughts which this great and good man entertained of his own approaches to religions perfection.
He was earnestly invited to publish a volume of Devotional Exercises; but this, (though he listened to the proposal with much complacency, and a large sum of money was offered for it,) he declined, from motives of the sincerest modesty.
He seriously entertained the thought of translating Thuanus. He often talked to me on the subject; and once, in particular, when I was rather wishing that he would favour the world, and gratify his Sovereign by a Life of Spenser, (which he said that he would readily have done, had he been able to obtain any new materials for the purpose,) he added, I have been thinking again Sir, of Thuanus: it would not be the laborious task which you have supposed it. I should have no trouble but that of dictation, which would be performed as speedily as an amanuensis could write.
It is to the mutual credit of Johnson and Divines of different commu. nions, that although he was a steady Church-of-England man, there was, nevertheless, much agreeable iotercourse between him and them. Let me particularly name the late Mr. La Trobe, and Mr. Hutton of the Moravian profession. His intimacy with the English Benedictines, at Paris, has been mentioned ; and as an additional proof of the charity in which he lived with good men of the Romish Church, I am happy in this opportunity of recording his friendship with the Reverend Thomas Hussey, D, D. His Catholic Majesty's Chaplin of Embassy at the Court of London, that very respectable man, eminent not only for his powerful eloquence as a preacher, but for his various abilities and acquisitions. Nay, though Johnsox loved a Presbytériau the least of all, this did not prevent bis having a long and interrupted social connection with the Reverend Dr. James Fordyce, who, since his death, hath gratefully celebrated him in a warm strain of devotional composition.
Amidst the melancholy clouds which hung over the dying Johnson, his characteristical manner shewed itself on different occasions.
When Dr. Warren, in the usual style, hoped that he was better : his auswer was, No, Sir; you cannot conceive with what acceleration I advance towards death.
A man whom he had never seen before was employed one night to sit up with him.
Being asked next morning how he liked his attendant, his answer was, Not at all, Sir: the fellow's an ideot; he is as auk. ward as a turn-spit when first put into the wheel, and as sleepy as a dormouse.
Mr. Windham having placed a pillow conveniently to support him, kindness, and said, That will do,-all that a pi' ow can do.
He repeated with great spirit a poem, consisting of several stanzas, in four lines, in alternate rhyme, which he said he had composed some years before, on occasion of a rich, extravagant young gentleman's coming of age; saying he had repeated it but once since he composed it, and had given but one copy of it. That copy was given to Mrs. Thrale, now Piozzi, who has published it in a book which she entitles “ British Synonimny," but which is truly a cola lection of entertaining remarks and stories no matter whether accurate or not. Being a piece of exquisite satire, conveyed in a strain of pointed vivacity and humour, and in a manner of which no other instance is to be found in Johnson's writings, I shall here insert it:
are now your own,
Loosen'd from the Minor's tether,
Call the Betseys, Kales, and Jennies,
All that prey on vice and folly
Wealth, my lad, was made to wander,
When the bonoy blade carouses,
Should the guardian friend or mother
As he opened a nole which his servant brought to him, he said, · An odd thought strikes me :-We shall receive wo letters in the grave.
He requested three things of Sir Joshua Reynolds :-To forgive liim thirty pounds which he had borrowed of him ;-to read the Bible; and never to use bis pencil on a Sunday. Sir Joshua readily acquiesced.
Indeed he shewed the greatest anxiety for the religious improvement of his friends, to whom he discoursed of its infinite cous
posequence. "He begged of Mr. Hoole to think of what he had said, and to com. mit it to writing; and upon being afterwards assured that this was done, pressed his hands and in an earvest tove thanked him. Dr. Brocklesby having attended him with the utmost assiduity and kindness as his physician and friend, he was peculiarily desirous this
gentleman should not entertain any loose speculative notions, but be confirmed in the truth of Christianity, and insisted on his writing down in his presence, as nearly as he could collect it, the import of what passed on the subject; and Dr. Brocklesby having complied with the request, he made him sign the paper, and urged him to keep it in his own custody as long as he lived.
Johnson, with that native fortitude, which, amidst all his bodily distress and mental sufferings, never forsook him, asked Dr. Brocka lesby as a man in whom he had confidence, to tell bin plainly whether he would recover. Give me, said he, a direct answer. The Doctor having firsť asked him if he could bear the whole truth, which way soever it might lead, and being answered that he could, declared that, in' his opinion, he could not recover without a miracle, Then, (sajd Johnson) I will take no more physic, not even my opiates : for I have prayed that I may render up my soul to God unclouded. In this resous lution he persevered,' and at the same time, used ouly the weakest kind of sustenunce. Being pressed by Mr. Windhum to take somewhat more generous nourishment, lest too low a diet should have the very effect which be dreaded, by debilitating his miod, he said, I will take any thing but inebriating sustenance.
The Reverend Mr. Strahan, who was the son of his friend, and had been always one of his great favourites, had, during his last illness, the satisfaction of contributing to soothe and comfort him, That gentler mau's house, at Islington, of which he is Vicar, afforded Johason oca casionally and easily, an agreeable change of place and fresh air ; and he attended also upon him in towo in the discharge of the sacred offices of his profession.
Mr. Strahan has given me the agreeable assurance, that, after being in much agitation, Johnson became quite composed, and continued Gu bis death.
Dr. Brocklesby, who will not be suspected of fanaticism, obliged me with the following accounts :
For some time before his death, all his fears were calmed and absorbed by the prevalence of his faith, and his trust in the merits and propitiation of Jesus Christ.
He talked often to me about the necessity of faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, as necessary beyond all good worka whatever, for the salvation of mankind.
He pressed me to study Dr. Clarke and to read his sermons. I asked him why he pressed Dr. Clarke, an Arian. Because, said he, he is the fullest on the propitiatory sacrifice.
Johnson having thus in his mind the true Christian scheme, at once rational and consolatory, voiting justice and mercy in the Divinity, with the improvenient of human nature, previous to his receiving the Foly Sacrament in his apartment, composed, and fervently uttered this prayer: No. 19.
Alinighty and most merciful Father, I am now, as to human eyes it seems, about to commemorate for the last time, the death of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Grant, O Lord, that my whole hope and confidence may be in his merits, and thy mercy; enforce and accept my imperfect repentance; make this.commemoration available to the confirmation of my faith, the establishmeut of my hope and the enlargement of my charity; and make the death of thy Son Jesus Christ effectual to my redemption. Have mercy upon me and pardon the multitude of my offences.
offences. Bless my
friends; bave mercy upon all men. Support me, by thy Holy Spirit, in the days of weakness, and at the hour of death; and receive me, at my death, to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen,
Having, as has been already mentioned, made his will on the 8th and 9th of December, and settled all his worldly affairs, he languished till Monday the 13th of that month, when he expired, about seven o'clock in the evening, with so little apparent pain that his attendants hardly perceived when bis dissolution took place.
Of his last moments, my brother, Thomas David, has furnished me with the following particulars:
The Doctor from the time that he was certain his death was near, appeared to be perfectly re-igned, was reldom or never sretful or out of temper, and often raid 10 his faithful servant, who gave me this account, Attend, Francis, to the salvation of your soul, which is the object of greatest importance: he also explained to him passages in the scripture, and seemed to have plea-ure in talking upon religious subjects.
On Monday, the 13th of December, the day on which he died, a Miss Morris, daughter of a particular friend of his, called, and said to Francis, that she begged to be permitted to see the Doctor, that she might earnestly request him to give her his blessing. Francis went into his rooni, followed by the young lady, and delivered the message. The Doctor turned himself in the bed, and said, God bless you, my dear! These were the last words he spoke.—His difficulty of breathing increased till about seven o'clock in the evening, when Mr. Barber and Mrs. Desmoulins who were sitting in the room, observing that the noise he made in breaching had ceased, went to the bed, and found he was dead.
About two days after his death, the following very agreeable account was communicated to Mr. Malone, in a letter by the Honourable Joha Byng, to whom I am much obliged for granting me permission to intra duce it in my work.
Since I saw you, I have had a long conversation with Cawston, who sat up with Dr. Johnson, from niue o'clock on Sunday evening, till tea o'clock on Monday morning. And, from what I can gather from him, it should seem, that Dr. Johnson was perfectly composed, steady in hope, and resigned to death. At the interval of each hour, they assisted him