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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.
6 DEAR SIR,
“ 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 Arat. 7 Divine Will, his steady piety enabled him to behave.
“ TO MR. EDMUND ALLEN.
66 DEAR SIR,..
“ It has pleased God, this morning, to de-
“ Sincerely yours,
6 TO THE REVEREND DR. JOHN TAYLOR.
66 DEAR SIR,
" It has pleased God, by a paralytick stroke
“ I think that by a speedy application of stimu-
“ 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. 7. 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 thing's (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 me. 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.
Ætat. 74. ** DEAR SÍR
“ 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. e 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,