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The History of the Cyrenaica.
Dissertation on the peopling of
pendency of the Arabs. The Cosmogony, and a small part of the hi
story immediately following. By Mr. Sale. To the Birth of Abraham. Chiefly by Mr.
Shelvock. History of the Jews, Gauls, and Spaniards.
By Mr. Psalmanazar. Xenophon's Retreat. By the same. History of the Persians, and the Constanti
nopolitan Empire. By Dr. Campbell. History of the Romans. By Mr. Bower*.
* Before this authentic communication, Mr. Nichols had given, in the volume of the Magazine for 1781, p. 870, the following account of the Universal History. The proposals were published October 6, 1729; and the authors of the first seven volumes were,
Vol. I. Mr. Sale, translator of the Koran.
II. George Psalmanazar.
On the morning of Dec. 7, Dr. Johnson requested to see Mr. Nichols. A few days before, he had borrowed some of the early volumes of the Magazine, with a professed intention to point out the pieces which he had written in that collection. The books lay on the table, with many leaves doubled down, and in particular those which contained his share in the Parliamentary Debates. Such was the goodness of Johnson's heart, that he then declared, that “ those debates were the only parts of his writings which
any compunction; but that at the time he wrote them he had no conception that he was imposing upon the world, though they were frequently written from very slender materials, and often from none at all, the mere coinage of his
III. Archibald Bower.
V. Mr. Bower.
Rey. John Swinton.
own imagination." He added, 66 that he never wrote any part of his work with equal velocity. Three columns of the Magazine in an hour," he said, “ was no uncommon effort; which was faster than most persons could have transcribed that quantity. In one day in particular, and that not a very long one, he wrote twelve pages; more in quantity than ever he wrote at any other time, except in the Life of Savage, of which forty-eight pages in octavo were the production of one long day, including a part of the night.”
In the course of the conversation, he asked, whether any of the family of Faden theprinter were living. Being told that the geographer near Charing-cross was Faden's son, he said, after a short pause,
" I borrowed a guinea of his father near thirty years ago;
be so good as to take this, and pay it for me.”
Wishing to discharge every duty, and every obligation, Johnson recollected another debt of ten pounds, which he had borrowed from his friend Mr. Hamilton the printer, about twenty years before.' He sent the money to Mr. Hamilton at his house in Bedford Row, with an apology for the length of time. The Reverend Mr. Strahan was the bearer of the message, about four or five days before Johnson breathed his last.
Mr. Sastres (whom Dr. Johnson esteemed and mentioned in his will) entered the room during his illness. Dr. Johnson, as soon as he saw him, stretched forth his hand, and, in a tone of lamentation, called out, Jam moriturus! But the love of life was still an active principle. Feeling himself swelled with the dropsy, he conceived that, by inçisions in his legs, the water might be discharged. Mr. Cruikshank apprehended that a mortification might be the consequence; but, to appease a distempered fancy, he gently lanced the surface. Johnson cried out, “ Deeper, deeper! I want length of life, and you are afraid of giving me pain, which I do not value.'
On the 8th of December, the Reverend Mr. Strahan drew his will, by which, after a few legacies, the residue, amounting to about fifteen hundred pounds, was bequeathed to Frank, the black servant, formerly consigned to the testator by his friend Dr. Bathurst.
The history of a death-bed is painful. Mr. Strahan informs us, that the strength of religion prevailed against the infirmity of nature; and his foreboding dread of the Divine Justice subsided into a pious trust and humble hope of mercy at the Throne of Grace. On Monday the 13th day of December (the last of his existence on this side the grave), the desire of life returned with all its former vehemence. He still imagined, that, by puncturing his legs, relief might be obtained. At eight in the morning he tried the experiment, but no water followed. In an hour or two after, he fell into a doze, and about seven in the evening expired without a groan.
On the 20th of the month his remains, with due solemnities, and a numerous attendance of his friends, were buried in Westminster Abbey, near the foot of Shakspeare's monument, and close to the grave of the late Mr. Garrick. The funeral service was read by his friend Dr. Taylor.