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recriminate, and to charge me with forgetfulness of the absent. I will there-
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 folitude, 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 Neepless ; 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 supply in the day what I lost in bed.—This is my history, 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 money which you mentioned I have no immediate need; keep it, however for me, unless fome 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
To Mr. Windham, August. “ The tenderness with which you have been
WINDHAM 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 fick ? His thoughts are necessarily concentred 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 Vol. II.
1784. 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 lefs afictive.”
October 2. “I believe you have been long enough acquainted with the pbænomena of fickness, not to be surprized that a sick man 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 the Right Honourable WILLIAM GERARD HAMILTON. " 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 the inundation : I then returned to London, and in July took a resolution to visit Staffordshire and Derbyshire, where I am yet struggling with my diseases. The dropsy made another attack, and was not easily ejected, but at last gave way. The asthma fuddenly remitted 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 fooner. I will not prolong my complaints. I hope still to see you in a happier bour, 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, Oft. 20, 1784.
TO JOHN PARADISE, Esq.
« THOUGH in all my summer's excursion I have given you no
To Mr. GEORGE NICOLL 4.
“ SINCE we parted I have been much oppressed by my asthma,
“ DO not suppose that I forget you; I hope I shall never be accused
4 Bookseller to his Majesty,
4 A 2
1784. fortnight I have received great relief.-Have your Lectures any vacation?
If you are released from the necessity of daily study, you may find time for a
To Mr. Thomas Davies, August 14. “ 'The tenderness with which you always treat me, makes me culpable in my own eyes for having omitted to write in so long a separation; I had, indeed, nothing to say that you
could wish to hear. All has been hitherto misery accumulated upon misery, disease corroborating disease, till yesterday my asthma was perceptibly and unexpectedly mitigated. I am much comforted with this short relief, and am willing to flatter myself that it may continue and improve. I have at present, such a degree of ease, as not only may admit the comforts, but the duties of life. Make my compliments to Mrs. Davies.-Poor dear Allen, he was a
To Sir Joshua ReynOLDS, August 19. Having had since our separation, little to say that could please you or myself by saying, I have not been Javish of useless letters; but I Aatter myself that you will partake of the pleasure with which I can now tell you, that about a week ago, I felt suddenly a fensible remission of my asthma, and consequently a greater lightness of action and motion.--Of this grateful alleviation I know not the cause, nor dare depend upon its continuance, but while it lasts I endeavour to enjoy it, and am desirous of communicating, while it lasts, my pleasure to my friends.Hitherto, dear Sir, I had written before the post, which stays in this town but a little while, brought me your letter. Mr. Davies seems to have represented my little tendency to recovery in terms too splendid. I am still restless, still weak, still watry, but the asthma is less oppressive. Poor Ramsays! On which fide foever I turn, mortality presents its formidable frown. I left three old friends at Lichfield, when I was last there, and now found them all dead. I no sooner lose sight of dear Allen, than I am told that I shall see him no
That we must all die, we always knew; I wish I had sooner remembered it. Do not think me intrusive or importunate, if I now call, dear Sir, on you to remember it.”
Sept. 2. “ I still continue, by God's mercy, to mend. My breath is easier, my nights are quieter, and my legs are lefs in bulk, and stronger in
s Allan Ramsay, Esq. painter to his Majesty, who died about this time, much regretted by his friends,
use. I have, however, yet a great deal to overcome, before I can yet attain 1784.
“ I Aattered myself that this week would have given me a
To Mr. John Nichols. Lichfield, Oct. 20. “ When you were here, you
This various mass of correspondence, which I have thus brought together, is valuable both as an addition to the store which the publick already has of Johnson's writings, and as exhibiting a genuine and noble specimen of vigour and vivacity of mind, which neither age nor fickness could impair or diminish.
It may be observed, that his writing in every way, whether for the publick,