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· To Mr. LANGTON. Aug. 25. “ The kindness 1784. of your last letter, and my omission to answer it, an begins to give you, even in my opinion, a right to recriminate, and to charge me with forgetfulness for the absent. I will, therefore, delay no longer to give an account of myself, and wish I could relate what would please either myself or my friend.-O11 July 13, I left London, partly in hope of help from new air and change of place, and partly excited by the sick man's impatience of the present. I got to Lichfield in a stage vehicle, with very little fatigue, in two days, and had the consolation to find, that since my last visit my three old acquaintance are all dead.
July 20, I went to Ashbourne, where I have been till now; the house in which we live is repairing. I live in too much solitude, and am often deeply dejected : I wish we were nearer, and rejoice in your removal to London. A friend, at once cheerful and serious, is a great acquisition. Let us not neglect one another for the little time which Providence allows us to hope. Of my health I cannot tell you, what my wishes persuaded me to expect, that it is much improved by the season or by remedies. I am sleepless ; my legs grow weary with a very few steps, and the water breaks its boundaries in some degree. The asthma, however, has remitted ; my breath is still much obstructed, but is more free than it was. Nights of watchfulness produce torpid days; I read very little, though I am alone ; for I am tempted to
? [Probably some word has been here omitted before consolation ; perhaps sad, or miserable ; or the word consolation, has been printed by mistake, instead of mortification :-but the original letter not being now (1798] in Mr. Langton's hands, the errour (if it be one) cannot be corrected. M.]
1784. supply in the day what I lost in bed. This is my
h istory; like all other histories, a narrative of misery. 'Yet am I so much better than in the beginning of the year, that I ought to be ashamed of complaining, I now sit and write with very little sensibility of pain or weakness; but when I rise, I shall find my legs betraying me. Of the inoney which you mentioned, I have no immediate need; keep it, however, for me, unless some exigence requires it. Your papers I will shew you certainly, when you would see them; but I am a little angry at you for not keeping minutes of your own acceptum et expensum, and think a little time might be spared from Aristophanes, for the res familiares. Forgive me, for I mean well. I hope, dear Sir, that you and Lady Rothes, and all the young people, too many to enumerate, are well and happy. God bless you all.”
To Mr. WINDHAM. August. 6 The tenderness with which you have been pleased to treat me, through my long illness, neither health nor sickness can, I hope, make me forget; and you are not to suppose, that after we parted you were no longer in my mind. But what can a sick man say, but that he is sick ? His thoughts are necessarily concentered in himself: he neither receives nor can give delight; his enquiries are after alleviations of pain, and his efforts are to catch some momentary comfort.Though I am now in the neighbourhood of the Peak, you must expect no account of its wonders, of its hills, its waters, its caverns, or its mines; but I will tell you, dear Sir, what I hope you will not hear with less satisfaction, that, for about a week past, my asthma has been less afflictive."
Lichfield, October 2. “ I believe you had been 1784. long enough acquainted with the phænomena of sickness, not to be surprised that a sickman wishes to be where he is not, and where it appears to every body but himself that he might easily be, without having the resolution to remove. I thought Ashbourne a solitary place, but did not come hither till last Monday.--I have here more company, but my health has for this last week not advanced; and in the languor of disease how little can be done? Whither or when I shall make my next remove, I cannot tell; but I entreat you, dear Sir, to let me know from time to time, where you may be found, for your residence is a very powerful attractive to, Sir, your most humble servant."
« TO MR. PERKINS. 6 DEAR SIR,
"I cannot but flatter myself that your kind. ness for me will make you glad to know where I am, and in what state.
“ I have been struggling very hard with my diseases. My breath has been very much obstructed, and the water has attempted to encroach upon me again. I past the first part of the summer at Oxford, afterwards I went to Lichfield, thence to Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, and a week ago I returned to Lichfield.
My breath is now much easier, and the water is in a great measure run away, so that I hope to see you again before winter.
" Please make my compliments to Mrs. Perkins, and to Mr. and Mrs Barclay. I am dear Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, “ Lichfield, Oct. 4, 1784.
• Sam. JOHNSON,"
1784. 56 TO THE RIGHT HỌN, WILLIAM GERARD HAMILTON. Ætat. 75. 5 DEAR SIR,
« CONSIDERING what reason you gave me in the spring to conclude that you took part in whatever good or evil might befal me, I ought not to have omitted so long the account which I am now about to give you.--My diseases are an asthma and a dropsy, and, what is less curable, seventy-five. Of the dropsy, in the beginning of the summer, or in the spring, I recovered to a degree which struck with wonder both me and my physicians: the asthma now is likewise, for a time, very much relieved. I went to Oxford, where the asthma was very tyrannical, and the dropsy began again to threaten me; but seasonable physick stopped theinundation: I then returned to London, and in July took a resolution to visit Staffordshire and Derbyshire, where I am yet struggling with my disease. The dropsy made another attack, and was not easily ejected, but at last gave way. The asthma suddenly rernitted in bed, on the 13th of August, and, though now very oppressive, is, I think, still something gentler than it was before the remission, My limbs are miserably debilitated, and my nights are sleepless and tedious.—When you read this, dear Sir, you are not sorry that I wrote no sooner. I will not prolong my complaints. I hope still to see you in a happier hour, to talk over what we have often talked, and perhaps to find new topicks of merriment, or new incitements to curiosity. :
"I am, dear sir, &c. Lichfield, Oct. 20, 1784. "ŞAM. JOHNSON, *
“ TO JOHN PARADISE, ESQ.?
“ DEAR SIR,
" Though in all my summer's excursion I have given you no account of myself, I hope you think better of me than to imagine it possible for me to forget you, whose kindness to me has been too great and too constant not to have made its impression on a harder breast than inine.—Silence is not very culpable, when nothing pleasing is suppressed. It would have alleviated none of your complaints to have read my vicissitudes of evil. I have struggled hard with very formidable and obstinate maladies ; and though I cannot talk of health, think all praise due to my Creator and Preserver for the continuance of my life. The dropsy has made two attacks, and has given way to medicine; the asthma is very oppressive, but that has likewise once remitted. I am very weak, and very sleepless; but it is time to conclude the tale of misery.--I hope, dear Sir, that you grow better, for you have likewise your share of human evil, and that your lady and the young charmers are well.
"I am, dear Sir, &c. « Lichfield, Oct. 27, 1784.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
> Son of the late Peter Paradise, Esq. his Britannick Majesty's Consul at Salonica, in Macedonia, by his lady, a native of that country. He studied at Oxford, and has been honoured by that University with the degree of LL. D. He is distinguished not only by his learning and talents, but by an amiable disposition, gentleness of manners, and a very general acquaintance with wellinformed and accomplished persons of almost all nations.
(Mr. Paradise died, December 12, 1795. M.]