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The few remaining occurrences may be soon despatched. In the month of June, 1783, Johnson had a paralytic stroke, which affected his speech only. He wrote to Dr. Taylor of Westminster; and to his friend Mr. Allen, the printer, who lived at the next door. Dr. Brocklesby arrived in a short time, and by his care, and that of Dr. Heberden, Johnson soon recovered. During his illness the writer of this narrative visited him, and found him reading Dr. Watson's Chemistry. Articulating with difficulty, he said, “ From this book, he who knows nothing may learn a great deal; and he who knows, will be pleased to find his knowledge recalled to his mind in a manner highly pleasing.” In the month of August he set out for Lichfield, on a visit to Mrs. Lucy Porter, the daughter of his wife by her first husband; and in his way back paid his respects to Dr. Adams at Oxford. Mrs. Williams died at his house in Bolt-court in the month of September, during his absence. This was another shock to a mind like his, ever agitated by the thoughts of futurity. The contemplation of his own approaching end was constantly before his eyes ; and the prospect of death, he declared, was terrible. For many years, when he was not disposed to enter into the conversation going forward, whoever sat near his chair, might hear him repeating, from Shakspeare,

Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod, and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods-

And from Milton,

Who would lose,
For fear of pain, this intellectual being ?

By the death of Mrs. Williams he was left in a state of destitution, with nobody but Frank, his black servant, to sooth his anxious moments. In November 1783, he was swelled from head to foot with a dropsy. Dr. Brocklesby, with that benevolence with which he always assists his friends, paid his visits with assiduity. The medicines prescribed were so efficacious, that in a few days, Johnson, while he was offering up his' prayers, was suddenly obliged to rise, and, in the course of the day, discharged twenty pints of water.

Johnson, being eased of his dropsy, began to entertain hopes that the vigour of his constitution was not entirely broken. For the sake of conversing with his friends, he established a conversation club, to meet on every Wednesday evening; and, to serve a man whom he had known in Mr. Thrale's household form

any years, the place was fixed at his house in Essex-street, near the Temple. To answer the malignant remarks of Sir John Hawkins on this subject were a wretched waste of time. Professing to be Johnson's friend, that biographer has raised more objections to his character than all the enemies of that excellent man. Sir John had a root of bitterness that put “rancours in the vessel of his peace.” Fielding, he says, was the inventor of a cant phrase, “ Goodness of heart, which means little more than the virtue of a horse or a dog.” He should have known that kind affections are the essence of virtue; they are the will of God implanted in our nature, to aid and strengthen moral obligation; they incite to action ; a sense of benevolence is no less necessary than a sense of duty. Good affections are an ornament not only to an author but to his writings. He



who shows himself upon a cold scent for opportunities to bark and snarl throughout a volume of six hundred pages, may, if he will, pretend to moralize; but “ goodness of heart,” or, to use that politer phrase, the “ virtue of a horse or a dog," would redound more to his honour. But Sir John is no more: our business is with Johnson. The members of his club were respectable for their rank, their talents, and their literature. They attended with punctuality till about Midsummer 1784, when, with some appearance of health, Johnson went into Derbyshire, and thence to Lichfield. While he was in that part of the world, his friends in town were labouring for his benefit. The air of a more southern climate they thought might prolong a valuable life. But a pension of 3001. a year was a slender fund for a traveling valetudinarian, and it was not then known that he had saved a moderate sum of money. Mr. Boswell and Sir Joshua Reynolds undertook to solicit the patronage of the Chancellor. With Lord Thurlow, while he was at the bar, Johnson was well acquainted. He was often heard to

say, * Thurlow is a man of such vigour of mind, that I never knew I was to meet him butI was going to say, I was afraid, but that would not be true, for I never was afraid of any man; but I never knew that I was to meet Thurlow, but I knew I had something to encounter.” The Chancellor undertook to recommend Johnson's case, but without success. To protract if possible the days of a man, whom he respected, he offered to advance the sum of five hundred pounds. Being informed of this at Lichfield, Johnson wrote the following letter:

- MY LORD, “ After a long and not inattentive observation of mankind, the generosity of your lordship’s offer raises in me not less wonder than gratitude. Bounty, so liberally bestowed, I should gladly receive if my condition made it necessary; for to such a mind who would not be proud to own his obligations ? But it has pleased God to restore me to so great a measure of health, that, if I should now appropriate so much of a fortune destined to do good, I could not escape from myself the charge of ad

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