« ZurückWeiter »
carry it high with man (and even this was much clouds to rise without them : and of this let us abated in the latter part of life), his devotions always be mindful, that every one who is made have shown to the whole world how humbly he better by his books will add a wreath to his walked at all times with his God.
“ His example may likewise encourage those of timid and gloomy dispositions not to despond, when they reflect that the vigour of such an in
VIII. tellect could not preserve its possessor from the [Diary of Dr. Johnson's last illness, by depredations of melancholy. They will cease to
J. HOOLE, Esq.-referred to ante, p. be surprised and alarmed at the degree of their
436.] own sufferings : they will resolve to bear with patience and resignation the malady to which they Saturday, Nov. 20, 1784.–This erefind a Johnson subject as well as themselves : and ning, about eight o'clock, I paid a visit Esrom.
MT. if they want words in which to ask relief from to my dear friend Dr. Johnson, whom I him who alone can give it, the God of mercy and found very ill and in great dejection of Father of all comfort, language affords no finer spirits. We had a most affecting converthan those in which his prayers are conceived. sation on the subject of religion, in which he esChild of sorrow, whoever thou art, use them; and horted me, with the greatest warmth of kindness, be thankful that the inau existed by whose means to attend closely to every religious daty, and pare thou hast them to use.
ticularly enforced the obligation of private prayer “ His eminence and his fame must of course and receiving the sacrament. He desired me ta have excited envy and malice ; but let envy and stay that night and join in prayer with him ; ad. malice look at his infirmities and his charities, and ding, that he always went to prayer every night they will quickly melt into pity and love. with his man Francis. He conjured me to read
" That he should not be conscious of the abili- and meditate upon the Bible, and not to throw it ties with which Providence had blessed him was aside for a play or a novel. He said be had inipossible. He felt his own powers ; he felt himself lived in great negligence of religion and what he was capable of having performed ; and worship for forty years ; that he had neglected to he saw how little, comparatively speaking, he read his Bible, and had often reflected what he had performed. Hence his apprehensions on the could hereafter say when he should be asked near prospect of the account to be made, viewed why he had not read it. He begged me repeatthrough the medium of constitutional and morbid edly to let his present situation have due erfect melancholy, which often excluded from his sight upon me, and advised me, when I got home, të the bright beams of divine mercy. May those note down in writing what had passed between beams ever shine upon us! But let them not adding, that what a man writes in that aber cause us to forget that talents have been bestowed dwells upon his mind. He said many things that of which an account must be rendered, and that I cannot now recollect, but all delivered with the the fate of the unprofitable servant' may justly utmost fervour of religious zeal and personal beget apprehensions in the stoutest mind. The affection. Between nine and teu o'clock his serindolent man who is without such apprehensions vant Francis came up stairs : he then said we has never yet considered the subject as he ought. would all go to prayers, and, desiring me to For one person who fears death too much, there kneel down by his bed-side, he repeated serenal are a thousand who do not fear it enough, nor prayers with great devotion. I then took my have thought in earnest about it. Let us only leave. He then pressed me to think of all be put in practice the duty of self-examination ; let had said, and to commit it to writing. I seared us inquire into the success we have experienced him I would. He seized my hand with much in our war against the passions, or even against warmth, and repeated, · Promise me yod will do undue indulgence of the common appetites--eat- it :' on which we parted, and I engaged to see ing, drinking, and sleeping ; we shall soon per- him the next day. ceive how much more easy it is to form resolutions “ Sunday, Nov. 21.-About noon I again vise than to execute them, and shall no longer find ited him : found him rather better and easier, bis occasion, perhaps, to wonder at the weakness of spirits more raised, and his conversation more des Johnson.
posed to general subjects. When I came in, be “On the whole, in the memoirs of him that asked if I had done what he desired (meaning the have been published, there are so many witty noting down what passed the night before) ; and sayings and so many wise ones, by wbich the upon my saying that I had, he pressed my baad, world, if it so please, may be at once entertained and said earnestly, ' Thank yon. Our discourse and improved, that I do not regret their publica- then grew more cheerful. He told me, with ap tion. In this, as in all other instances, we are to parent pleasure, that he heard the Empress of adopt the good and reject the evil. The little Russia had ordered the Rambler to be translated stories of his oddities and his infirmities in common into the Russian language, and that a copy would life will, after a while, be overlooked and for- be sent hiin. Before we parted, he pat into my gotten ; but his writings will live for ever, still hands a little book, by Fleetwood, on the sacra. more and more studied and admired, while Brit- ment, which he told me he had been the mean ons shall continue to be characterized by a love of introducing to the University of Oxford by reof elegance and sublimity, of good sense and commending it to a young student there. virtue. The sincerity of his repentance, the “ Monday, Nov. 22.–Visited the Doctor: found steadfastness of his faith, and the fervour of his him seemingly better of his complaints, bat ercharity, forbid us to doubt, that his sun set in tremely low and dejected. I sat by him till
he fell asleep, and soon after left him, as he trust, with repentance and the death of Jesus seemed little disposed to talk ; and, on my going Christ.' While he was at Mr. Strahan's, Dr. away, he said emphatically, 'I am very poorly Brocklesby came in, and Dr. Johnson put the indeed!'
question to him, whether he thought he could live “ Tuesday, Nov. 23.-Called about eleven : six weeks? to which Dr. Brocklesby returned a the Doctor not up : Mr. Gardiner in the dining- very doubtful answer, and soon left us. After room : the Doctor soon came to us, and seemed dinner the will was finished, and about six we inore cheerful than the day before. He spoke of came to town in Sir John Hawkins's carriage ; bis design to invite a Mrs. Hall ? to be with him, Sir John, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Ryland (who came and to offer her Mrs. Williams's room. Called in after dinner), and myself. The Doctor apagain about three : found him quite oppressed peared much better in the way home, and talked with company that morning, therefore left him di- pretty cheerfully. Sir John took leave of us at rectly.
the end of Bolt-court, and Mr. Ryland and myWednesday, Nov. 24.—Called about seven self went to his house with the Doctor, who began in the evening: found him very ill and very low to grow very ill again. Mr. Ryland soon left us, indeed. He said a thought had struck him that and I remained with the Doctor till Mr. Sastres his rapid decline of health and strength might be came in. We staid with him about an hour, partly owing to the town air, and spoke of get- when we left him on his saying he had some ting a lodging at Islington. I sat with him till business to do. Mr. Sastres and myself went topast nine, and then took my leave.
gether homewards, discoursing on the dangerous “ Thursday, Nov. 25.—About three in the state of our friend, when it was resolved that Mr. afternoon was told that he had desired that day Sastres should write to Dr. Heberden ; but going to see no company. In the evening, about eight, to his house that night, he fortunately found him called with Mr. Nicol?, and, to our great surprise, at home, and he promised to be with Dr. Johnwe found him then setting out for Islington, to the son next morning. Rev. Mr. Strahan's. He could scarce speak. Sunday, Nov. 28.–Went to Dr. Johnson's We went with him down the court to the coach. about two o'clock : met Mrs. Hoole coming from He was accompanied by his servant Frank and thence, as he was asleep : took her back with Mr. Lowe the painter. I offered myself to go me : found Sir John Hawkins with him. The with him, but he declined it.
Doctor's conversation tolerably cheerful. Sir “ Friday, Nov. 26.—Called at his house about John reminded him that he had expressed a desire eleven : heard he was much better, and had a to leave some small memorials to his friends, parbetter night than he had known a great while, ticularly a Polyglot Bible to Mr. Langton ; and and was expected home that day. Called again asked if they should add the codicil then. The in the afternoon—not so well as he was, nor ex- Doctor replied, he had forty things to add, but pected home that night.
could not do it at that time.'' Sir John then took “Saturday, Nov. 27.—Called again about noon: his leave. Mr. Sastres came next into the diningheard he was much worse : went immediately to room, where I was with Mrs. Hoole. Dr. JohnIslington, where I found him extremely bad, and son hearing that Mrs. Hoole was in the next room scarce able to speak, with the asthma. Sir John desired to see her. He received her with great Hawkins, the Rev. Mr. Strahan, and Mrs. Stra- affection, took her by the hand, and said nearly han, were with him. Observing that we said these words : 'I feel great tenderness for you : little, he desired that we would not constrain our- think of the situation in which you see me, profit selves, though he was not able to talk with us. by it, and God Almighty keep you for Jesus Soon after he said he had something to say to Sir Christ's sake, Amen. He then asked if we John Hawkins, on which we immediately went would both stay and dine with him. Mrs. Hoole down into the parlour. Sir John soon followed said she could not ; but I agreed to stay. Upon us, and said he had been speaking about his will. my saying to the Doctor that Dr. Heberden Sir John started the idea of proposing to him to would be with him that morning, his answer was, make it on the spot, that Sir John should dictate • God has called me, and Dr. Heberden comes it, and that I should write it. He went up to too late.' Soon after this Dr. Heberden came. propose it, and soon came down with the Doctor's While he was there, we heard them, from the acceptance. The will was then begun ; but be- other room, in earnest discourse, and fouud that fore we proceeded far, it being necessary, on ac- they were talking over the aflair“ of the K-9 count of some alteration, to begin again, Sir John and C- -n 5. We overheard Dr. Heberden asked the Doctor whether he would choose to say, “ All you did was extremely proper.'. After make any introductory declaration respecting his Dr. Heberden was gone, Mr. Sastres and I refaith. The Doctor said he would. Sir John turned into the chamber. Dr. Johnson complained further asked if he would make any declaration that sleep this day had powerful dominion over of his being of the church of England : to which him, that he waked with great difficulty, and that the Doctor said · No!' but, taking a pen, he probably he should go off in one of these parwrote on a paper the following words, which he oxysms. Afterwards he said that he hoped his delivered to Sir Jobn, desiring him to keep it: 'I sleep was the effect of opium taken some days becommit to the infinite mercies of Almighty God fore, which might not be worked off. We dined my soul, polluted with many sins ; but purified, I
4 This alludes to an application made for an increase ! (No doubt an error of the press for Mrs. Gardiner. to his pension, to enable him to go to Italy.-J. HOOLE. ED.)
but probably an error of the press for C2 (See ante, p. 291.-Ed.)
meaning the King and Lord Chancellor: see ante, p. 413. Mr. George Nicol, of Páll Mall.-J. Hoole.
together, the Doctor, Mr. Sastres, Mrs. Davies, | spirit : it consisted of about fifteen or sixteen stan-
Question enrages him.' He retired immediately the rest, that “scruples made many men miserable,
should attend him next day, to read the Litany, as “ Monday, Nov. 29.-Called with my son he had desired ; but he declined it on account of about eleven : saw the Doctor, who said, 'You the expected consultation. We went away, lear must not now stay ;' but as we were going away, ing Mr. Langton and Mr. Desinoulins, a young he said, I will get Mr. Hoole to come next man who was employed in copying his Latin to Wednesday and read the Litany to me, and do igrams. you and Mrs. Hoole come with him.' He ap Wednesday, Dec. 1.–At his house in the peared very ill. Returning from the city I called evening : drank tea and coffee with Mr. Sastres, again to inquire, and heard that Dr. Butter was Mr. Desmoulins, and Mr.' Hall : went into the with him. In the evening, about eight, called Doctor's chamber after tea, when he gave me as again and just saw him ; but did not stay, as epitaph to copy, written by hin for his father, Mr. Langton was with him on business. I met mother, and brother
. Ile continued much the sane. Sir Joshua Reynolds going away.
Thursday, Dec. 2.--Called in the morning “ Tuesday, Nov. 30.–Called iwice this morn- and lefi the epitaph : with him in the even.ng ing, but did not see him : he was much the same. about seven ; found Mr. Langton and Jr. Des In the evening, between six and seven, went to moulins ; did not see the Doctor ; he was in die his house : found there Mr. Langton, Mr. Sastres, chamber, and afterwards engaged with Dr. Scott. and Mr. Ryland : the Doctor being asleep in the Friday, Dec. 3.-Called ; but he wished 204 chamber, we went all to tea and coffee, when to see any body. Consultation of physicians to the Doctor came in to us rather cheerful, and en- be held that day : called again in the eveoing; tering said, “Dear gentlemen, how do you do? 'found Mr. Langton with him ; Mr. Sastres and I He drank coffee, and, in the course of the conver went together into his chamber ; he was extreme sation, said that he recollected a poem of his, made some years ago on a young gentleman com
2 This note was froin Mr. Davies the bookseller, and
mentioned a present of some pork; upon wuch the ing of age. He repeated the whole with great Doctor said, in a manner that seemed as if he thought it
ill timed, “ Too much of this," or some such espression 1 The other two were Dr. Brocklesby and myself.-J.
3 [Probably a mistake for Mrs. Hall.-ED.)
ly low. "I am very bad indeed, dear gentlemen,' ever he hoped the time that had been prolonged he said ; 'very bad, very low, very cold, and I to him might be the means of bringing forth fruit think I find my life to fail. In about a quarter of meet for repentance. an hour he dismissed Mr. Sastres and me; but called “ Monday, Dec. 6.-Sent in the morning to me back again, and said that next Sunday, if he make inquiry after him : he was much the same : lived, he designed to take the sacrament, and called in the evening ; sound Mr. Cruikshanks wished me, my wife, and son to be there. We the surgeon with him : he said he had been that Jeft Mr. Langton with him.
day quarrelling with all his physicians : he appear. “ Saturday, Dec. 4.–Called on him about ed in tolerable spirits. three : he was much the same, did not see him, “ Tuesday, Dec. 7.—Called at dinner-time : he had much company that day. Called in the saw himn eat a very good dinner : he seemed rathevening with Mr. Sastres about eight ; found be er better, and in spirits. was not disposed for company ; Mr. Langton with “ Wednesday, Dec. 8.—Went with Mrs. Hoole hiin ; did not see him.
and my son, by appointment ; found him very “Sunday, Dec. 5.-Went to Bolt-court with poorly and low, after a very bad night. Mr. Mrs. Hoole after eleven ; found there Sir John Nichols the printer was there. My son read the Hawkins, Rev. Mr. Strahan, Mrs. Gardiner, and Litany, the Doctor several times urging him to Mr. Desmoulins, in the dining-room. After some speak louder. After prayers Mr. Langion came time the Doctor came to us from the chamber, in : much serious discourse : he warned us all and saluted us all, thanking us all for this visit to to profit by his situation ; and, applying to me, him. He said he found himself very bad, but who stood next him, exhorted me to lead a better hoped he should go well through the duty which life than he had done. • A better life than you, he was about to do. The sacrament was then my dear sir !' I repeated. He replied warmly, administered to all present, Frank being of the · Don't compliment now.' He told Mr. Langton number. The Doctor repeatedly desired Mr. Stra- that he had the night before enforced on han to speak louder ; seerning very anxious not a powerful argument to a powerful objection against to lose any part of the service, in which he joined Christianity. in very great fervour of devotion. The service “ He had often thought it might seem strange over, he again thanked us all for attending him on that the Jews, who refused belief to the doctrine the occasion : he said he had taken some opium to supported by the miracles of our Saviour, should enable him to support the fatigue ; he seemed after his death raise a numerous church ; but he quite spent, and lay in his chair some time in a said that they expected fully a temporal prince, kind of doze : he then got up and retired into his and with this idea the multitude was actuated chamber. Mr. Ryland then called on him. 1 when they strewed his way with palm-branches on was with them : he said to Mr. Ryland, 'I have his entry into Jerusalem ; but finding their expectaken my viaticum : I hope I shall arrive safe at tations afterwards disappointed, rejected him, till the end of my journey, and be accepted at last.' in process of time, comparing all the circumstanHe spoke very despondingly several times : Mr. ces and prophecies of the Old Testament, conRyland conforted himn, observing that we had firmied in the New, many were converted ; that great hopes given us.' · Yes,' he replied, we the Apostles themselves once believed him to be have hopes given us ; but they are conditional, a temporal prince. He said that he had always and I know not how far I have fulfilled those con- been struck with the resemblance of the Jewisb ditions !!' He afterwards said, . However, I think passover and the christian doctrine of redemption. that I have now corrected all bad and vicious hab- He thanked us all for our attendance, and we left its.' Sir Joshua Reynolds called on him: we him with Mr. Langton. left them together. Sir Joshua being gone, he “ Thursday, Dec. 9.-Called in the evening ; called Mr. Ryland and me again to him : he con- did not see him, as he was engaged. Linued talking very seriously, and repeated a pray- “ Friday, Dec. 10.- Called about eleven in er or collect with great fervour, when Mr. Ryland the morning ; saw Mr. La Trobe 3 there : neither took his leave. He ate a tolerable dinner, but re- of us saw the Doctor, as we understood he wished tised directly after dinner. My son caine to us not to be visited that day. In the evening I sent from his church : we were at dinner-Dr. John- him a letter, recommending Dr. Dalloway (an son, Mrs. Gardiner, myself, Mrs. Hoole, my son, irregular physician) as an extraordinary person and Mr. Desmoulins. He had looked out a ser- for curing the dropsy. He returned me a verbal pion of Dr. Clarke's, . On the Shortness of Life,' answer that he was obliged to me, but that it for me to read to hiin after dinner, but he was was too late. My son read prayers with him this too ill to hear it. After six o'clock he called us day. all into his room, when he disinissed us for that Saturday, Dec. 11.-Went to Bolt-court night with a prayer, delivered as he sat in his great about twelve ; met there Dr. Burney, Dr. Taylor, chair, in the most fervent and affecting manner, Sir John Hawkins, Mr. Sastres, Mr. Paradise. his mind appearing wholly employed with the Count Zenobia, and Mr. Langton. Mrs. Hoole thoughts of another life. He told Mr. Ryland called for me there : we both went to bim : he that he wished not to come to God with opium, received us very kindly ; told me he had my letbut that he hoped he had been properly attentive. ter, but it was too late for doctors, regular or He said before us all, that when he recovered the irregular.' His physicians had been with him last spring, he had only called it a reprieve, but that he did think it was for a longer time ; how-word He in the next sentence means not Mr. Windham,
? (Probably Mr. Windham; see his Journal. Tho
but Dr. Johnson.-Ed.) 1 Bee his letter to Mrs. Thrale, vol. I. p. 361.-J. HOOLE. 3 (See ante, p. 438, note.-ED.) VOL. 11. 67
that day, but prescribed nothing. Mr. Cruikshanks | together into the chamber, and there saw the
IX. shanks said he would call in the evening.
[SOME account of Francis STUART,-refer“ Sunday, Dec. 12.-Was not at Bolt-court in
red to in vol. i. p. 75 ; and ante, pp. 225. the forenoon; at St. Sepulchre's school in the
228. 369. 571. evening with Mrs. Hoole, where we saw Mrs. Gardiner and Lady Rothes ; heard that Dr. John “ In that amusing scrap-book called son was very bad, and had been something deliri- " Grose's Olio,” there is an imputation
Went to Bolt-court about nine, and found against Dr. Johnson of having obtained an there Mr. Windham and the Rev. Mr. Strahan. advance of money from the publishers of the The Doctor was then very bad in bed, which I Dictionary, by the trick of substituting old think he had only taken to that day: he had now sheets instead of new copy, which he had refused to take any more medicine or food. Mr. neglected to prepare. The following extract Cruikshanks came about eleven : he endeavoured from the Gentleman's Magazine contradicts thus to persuade hiin to take some nourishment, but in imputation; but for that sole purpose the Edivain. Mr. Windham then went again to him, tor would not have thought it necessary to and, by the advice of Mr. Cruikshanks, put it up- quote it, but he is induced to do so because it on this footing—that by persisting to refuse all also affords some curious particulars as to sustenance he might probably defeat his own pur- the practical compilation of the Dictionary, pose to preserve his mind clear, as his weakness and gives some uccount of Francis Stuart, might bring on paralytic complaints that might whose connexion with Johnson seems to the affect his mental powers. The Doctor, Mr. Wind-Editor to have been more important than th. ham said, heard him patiently ; but when he had Boswell supposed. Indeed Mr. Bostceli's heard all, he desired to be troubled no more. He account of the little negotiation in which Dr. then took a most affectionate leave of Mr. Wind- Johnson employed him with Stuart's sister is hum, who reported to us the issue of the conver- very confused. In December, 1779, he states sation, for only Mr. Desmoulins was with them that he had, as desired by Johnson, “ discover in the chamber. I did not see the Doctor that ed the sister of Stuart, and given her a guide for day, being fearful of disturbing him, and never an old pocket-book of her brother's whicb Dr. conversed with him again. I came away about Johnson had retained ; that the woman wondered half past eleven with Mr. Windham.
at his scrupulous honesty, and received the gainea “ Monday, Dec. 13.-Went to Bolt-court at as if sent by Providence : " ante, p. 225. But eleven o'clock in the morning ; met a young lady this must have been a total mistake on the coming down stairs from the Doctor, whom, up- part of Boswell ; for it appears that the sison inquiry, I found to be Miss Morris (a sister to ter had the pocket-book, or letter-case, a Miss Morris !, formerly on the stage). Mrs. that it was for obtaining it that Johnson afDesinoulins told me that she had seen the Doc- fered the guinea. This matter to as probably tor ; that by her desire he had been told she came explained in some letters not now estent; ja to ask his blessing, and that he said, 'God bless in April, 1780 (ante, p. 228), Johnsos er you !' I then went up into his chamber, and presses “ satisfaction at the success of Boswell's found him lying very composed in a kind of doze : transaction with Mrs. Stuart,” by which it say he spoke to nobody. Sir John Hawkins, Mr. be inferred that Boswell had obtained the letLangton, Mrs. Gardiner, Rev. Mr. Strahan and ter-case from her ; but the negotiation rar Mrs. Strahan, Doctors Brocklesby and Butter, Mr. not terminated; for four years after, is 1784 Steevens, and Mr. Nichols the printer, came; but | (ante, p. 369), Johnson writes to Bosirell, --| no one chose to disturb him by speaking to him, desire you to see Mrs. Stewart once again, and and he seemed to take no notice of any person. say that in the letter-case was a letter relating While Mrs. Gardiner and I were there, before the to me, for which I will give her, if she is wiling rest came, he took a little warm milk in a cup, to give it to me, another guinea : the letter is one when he said something upon its not being prop- consequence only to me :”-and agun, 18th erly given into his hand : he breathed very regu- March, 1784, “ If you come hither through lar, though short, and appeared to be mostly in a Edinburgh, send for Mrs. Stewart, and give aroun calm sleep or dozing. I left him in this state, er guinea for the letter in the old case, to wluch and never more saw him alive. In the evening 1 ! shall not be satisfied with my clain till she gives supped with Mrs. Hoole and my son at Mr. Braith- it me.” (Ante, p. 371.) The reader now waite's, and at night my servant brought me sees that the retention by Johnson of Sletoword that my dearest friend died that evening art's old pocket-book, and the scrupuluts about seven o'clock; and next morning I went honesty of paying a guinea for it, tres to the house, where I met Mr. Seward : we went a niisapprehension; and that Johnson really
wanted to obtain the pocket-book, «hich te 1 As there have been several Miss Morris's on the did get, for the sake of a letter it contained, stage, it may be proper to mention that the young lady which he seems not to have gotten; but ichat was sister to Miss Morris, who appeared in Juliet at letter could this be of consequence to Dr. JoksCovent Garden, Nov. 26, 1769, and died May 1, 1769. She was related to Corbyn Morris, Esq. commissioner son, when on the verge of the grare, yet so
long neglected by him ; for Stewart had been
of the customs.-J. Hoole.