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Johnson having thus in his mind the particular friend of his, called, and said to true Christian scheme, at once rational Francis, that she begged to be permitted to see
the Doctor, that she might earnestly request him and consolatory, uniting justice and
to give her his blessing. Francis went into his mercy in the DIVINITY, with the im room, followed by the young lady, and delivered provement of human nature, previous to the message., The Doctor turned himself in the his receiving the Holy Sacrament in his bed, and said, 'God bless you, my dear!' These
were the last words he spoke.-His difficulty of apartment, composed and fervently uttered breathing increased till about seven o'clock in the this prayer :)
evening, when Mr. Barber and Mrs. Desmoulins,
who were sitting in the room, observing that the “Almighty and most merciful Father, I am noise he made in breathing had ceased, went now, as to human eyes it seems, about to com to the bed, and found he was dead. memorate, for the last time, the death of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.
About two days after his death, the Grant, O Lord, that my whole hope and confidence may be in his merits, and thy mercy; following very agreeable account was enforce and accept my imperfect repentance ; communicated to Mr. Malone, in a letter firmation of my faith, the establishment of my I'am much obliged for granting me permake this commemoration available to the con- by the Honourable John Byng, to whom hope, and the enlargement of my charity ; and make the death of thy Son Jesus Christ mission to introduce it in my work. effectual to my redemption. Have mercy upon and pardon the multitude of my offences.
DEAR SIR, me, Bless my friends : have mercy upon all men,
“Since I saw you, I have had a long conSupport me. by thy Holy Spirit, in the days of versation with Cawston,” who sat up with Dr. weakness, and at the hour of death ; and receive Johnson, from nine o'clock on Sunday evening me, at my death, to everlasting happiness, for the till ten o'clock on Monday morning. And, from sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
what I can gather from him, it should seem that
Dr. Johnson was perfectly composed, steady in Having, as has been already mentioned, hope, and resigned to death. At the interval of made his will on the 8th and 9th of each hour, they assisted him to sit up in his bed, December, and settled all his worldly when he regularly addressed himself to fervent
and move his legs, which were in much pain; affairs, he languished till Monday, the prayer; and though, sometimes, his voice failed 13th of that month, when he expired, him, his sense never did, during that time. The about seven o'clock in the evening, with He said his mind was prepared, and the time to
only sustenance he received, was cider and water. so little apparent pain that his attendants his dissolution seemed long. At six in the mornhardly perceived when his dissolution ing he inquired the hour, and, on being informed, took place.
said that all went on regularly, and he felt he had
but a few hours to live. Of his last moments, my brother, “At ten o'clock in the morning, he parted from Thomas David, has furnished me with Cawston, saying, “You should not detain Mr. the following particulars :
Windham's servant :- I thank you : bear my re
membrance to your master.' Cawston says that "The Doctor, from the time that he was cer
no man could appear more collected, more devout, tain his death was near, appeared to be perfectly or less terrified at the thoughts of the approachresigned, was seldom or never fretful or out of ing minute. temper, and often said to his faithful servant,
This account, which is so much more agreewho gave me this account, 'Attend, Francis, to able than, and somewhat different from, yours, the salvation of your soul, which is the object of has given us the satisfaction of thinking that that greatest importance:' he also explained to him great man died as he lived, full of resignation, passages in the scripture, and seemed to have strengthened in faith, and joyful in hope. pleasure in talking upon religious subjects.
“On Monday, the 13th of December, the day A few days before his death, he had on which he died, a Miss Morris, daughter to a asked Sir John Hawkins, as one of his off
. At some distance of time he advised with executors, where he should be buried ; me what books he should read in defence of the and on being answered, “Doubtless in Christian religion. I recommended Clarke's Westminster Abbey,” seemed to feel a Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, as satisfaction very natural to a poet; and the best of the kind; and I find in what is called indeed in my opinion very natural to his Prayers and Meditations, that he was frequently employed in the latter part of his time every man of any imagination, who has in reading Clarke's sermons.” B.
no family sepulchre in which he can be 1 The Reverend Mr. Strahan took care to have it preserved, and has inserted it in Prayers 2 Servant to the Right Honourable William E' and Meditations, p. 216. B.
laid with his fathers. Accordingly, upon Johnson is dead.—Let us go to the nex Monday, December 20, his remains were best :—there is nobody; no man can be deposited in that noble and renowned said to put you in mind of Johnson.” edifice; and over his grave was placed a As Johnson had abundant homage large blue flag-stone, with this inscription : paid to him during his life, so no writer “SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
2 Beside the dedications to him by Dr. Gold Obiit xiii die Decembris
smith, the Reverend Dr. Franklin, and the Reve Anno Domini
rend Mr. Wilson, which I have mentioned accordM. DCC. LXXXIV.
ing to their dates, there was one by a lady, of Ætatis suæ Lxxv.
versification of Aningait and Ajnt (Rambler.
No. 186), and one by the ingenious Mr. Walker, ci His funeral was attended by a respect- his Rhetorical Grammar. "I have introduced int able number of his friends, particularly this work several compliments paid to him in the such of the members of the LITERARY writings of his contemporaries; but the number
them is so great, that we may fairly say that there CLUB as were then in town ; and was
was almost a general tribute. Let me not be forge:also honoured with the presence of ful of the honour done to him by Colonel Myddle several of the Reverend Chapter of ton, of Gwaynynog, near Denbigh ; who, on th Westminster. Mr. Burke, Sir Joseph
banks of a rivulet in his park, where Johnson de Banks, Mr. Windham, Mr. Langton, Sir with the following inscription : "This spot wa
lighted to stand and repeat verses, erected an ur Charles Bunbury, and Mr. Colman, bore often dignified by the presence of SAMUEL John his pall.
His schoolfellow, Dr. Taylor, son, LL.D., whose moral writings, exactly corperformed the mournful office of reading ardour to Virtue and confidence to Truth." A the burial service.
no inconsiderable circumstance of his fame, we I trust I shall not be accused of must reckon the extraordinary zeal of the artis affectation, when I declare, that I find to extend and perpetuate his image. I can
enumerate a bust by Mr. Nollekens, and the myself unable to express all that I felt many casts which are made from it'; severa upon the loss of such a “Guide, Philo pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds, from one of sopher, and Friend." 1 I shall, therefore, which, in the possession of the Duke of Dorset not say one word of my own, but adopt enamel:
Mr. Humphry executed a beautiful miniature is
one by Mrs. Frances Reynolds, si: those of an eminent friend [Gerard Joshua's sister: one by Mr. Zoffany; and one Hamilton), which he uttered with an by Mr. Opie ; and the following engravings ci abrupt felicity, superior to all studied his portrait : 1. One by Cooke, from Sir Joshua
for the proprietors' edition of his folio Diction compositions :--“He has made a chasm, ary.-2. One from ditto, by ditto, for their quar: which not only nothing can fill up, but | edition. --3. One from Opie, by Heath, for Harri which nothing has a tendency to fill up. –
son's edition of his Dictionary.--4. One from
Nollekens' bust of him, by Bartolozzi, f. 1 On the subject of Johnson I may adopt the Fielding's quarto edition of his Dictionary. words of Sir John Harrington, concerning his One small, from Harding, by Trotter, for venerable Tutor: and Diocesan, Sir John Still, his Beauties.-6. One small, from Sir Joshua Bishop of Bath and Wells; “Who hath given by Trotter, for his Lives of the Poets. -me some helps, more hopes, all encouragements 7: One small, from Sir Joshua, by Hall, for The in my best studies: to whom I never came but I Rambler.-8. One small, from an original draw. grew more religious; from whom I never went, ing, in the possession of Mr. John Simco, etchebut I parted better instructed. Of him there- by Trotter, for another edition of his Lives of the fore, my acquaintance, my friend, my instructor, Poets.-9. One small, no painter's name, etched if I speak much, it were not to be marvelled ; if by Taylor, for his Johnsoniana.-10. One folis I speak frankly, it is not to be blamed; and whole-length, with his oak-stick, as described in though I speak partially, it were to be par- Boswell's Tour, drawn and etched by Trotter doned.”. Nuga Antique, vol. i. p. 136. There -11. One large mezzotinto, from Sir Joshua, by is one circumstance in Sir John's character of Doughty.-12. One large Roman head, fron Sir Bishop Still, which is peculiarly applicable to Joshua, by Marchi.-13. One octavo, holding a Johnson: “He became so famous a disputer, book to his eye, from Sir Joshua, by Hall, for his that the learnedest were even afraid to dispute Works. ---14. One small, from a drawing from the with him: and he finding his own strength, life, and engraved by Trotter, for his Life pubcould not stick to warn them in their arguments lished by Kearsley.-15. One large, from Opie, to take heed to their answers, like a perfect by Mr. Townley (brother of Mr. Townley of the fencer that will tell aforehand in which button Commons), an ingenious artist, who resided sore he will give the venew, or like a cunning chess- time at Berlin, and has the honour of beir: player that will appoint aforehand with which engraver to his Majesty the King of Prussia pawn and in what place he will give the mate.'
This is one of the finest mezzotintos that eve" Ibid. B.
was executed ; and what renders it of extraordit
in this nation ever had such an accumula. plan, that Cathedral was afterwards fixed 1: tion of literary honours after his death. A on as the place in which a cenotaph = sermon upon that event was preached in should be erected to his memory : ? and
St. Mary's Church, Oxford, before the in the cathedral of his native city of LichUniversity, by the Reverend Mr. Agutter field, a smaller one is to be erected.3 To of Magdalen College. The Lives, the compose his epitaph, could not but excite Memoirs, the Essays, both in prose and the warmest competition of genius. 4. If verse, which have been published con- laudari a laudato viro be praise which is cerning him, would make many volumes. highly estimable, I should not forgive The numerous attacks too upon him myself were I to omit the following sepulI consider as part of his consequence, chral verses on the author of THE ENG
upon the principle which he himself so LISH DICTIONARY, written by the Right bome well knew and asserted. Many who Honourable Henry Flood : 5
trembled at his presence, were forward in assault, when they no longer appre
2 The subscription for this monument, which hended danger. When one of his little and completed by the aid of Johnson's other
cost £1155, was begun by the Literary Club, pragmatical foes was invidiously snarling friends and admirers. Malone: The work was at his fame, at Sir Joshua Reynolds's executed by John Bacon, and, irrespective of the table, the Reverend Dr. Parr exclaimed, object to be seen either in St. Paul's Cathedral with his usual bold animation, ' Ay, or in Westminster Abbey. As some of the memnow that the old lion is dead, every ass bers of the committee for its erection had signed thinks he may kick at him."
the famous remonstrance to Johnson on GoldA monument for him, in Westminster take Flood's advice and insist that the genius of
smith's epitaph, it is a pity that they did not now * Abbey, was resolved upon soon after his the author of the English Dictionary should be und death, and was supported by a
most commemorated in the English language. respectable contribution ; but the Dean consists of a medallion, with a tablet beneath,
3 This monument has been since erected. It and Chapter of St. Paul's having come on which is this inscription : “ The friends of to a resolution of admitting monuments SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D., a native of Lichfield, there upon a liberal and magnificent erected this Monument, as a tribute of respect
to the memory of a man of extensive learning, ary value, the plate was destroyed after four or a distinguished moral writer, and a sincere five impressions only were taken off. One of Christian. He died Dec. 13, 1784, aged 75."
them is in the possession of Sir William Scott. Malone. * Mr. Townley has lately been prevailed with to 4 The Reverend Dr. Parr, on being requested
execute and publish another of the same, that it to undertake it, thus expressed himself in a letter may, be more generally circulated among the to William Seward, Esq. : “I leave this mighty admirers of Dr. Johnson.-16. One large, from task to some hardier and some abler writer. The
Sir Joshua's first picture of him, by Heath, for variety and splendour of Johnson's attainments, $ this work in quarto.--17. One octavo, by Baker, the peculiarities of his character, his private $ for the octavo edition.—18. And one for Lavater's virtues, and his literary publications, fill me with
Essays on Physiognomy, in which Johnson's confusion and dismay, when I reflect upon the countenance is analysed upon the principles of confined and difficult species of composition, in that fanciful writer. — There are also several seals which alone they can be expressed, with propriety,
with his head cut on them, particularly a very upon his monument." But I understand that • fine one by that eminent artist, Edward Burch, this great scholar, and warm admirer of Johnson,
Esq., R.A., in the possession of the younger Dr. has yielded to repeated solicitations, and executed Charles Burney. Let me add, as a proof of the the very difficult undertaking. B. Most of those popularity of his character, that there are copper who read the inscription will probably regret that pieces struck at Birmingham with his head im Parr did not adhere to his original resolupressed on them, which pass current as halfpence tion. there, and in the neighbouring parts of the coun 5 To prevent any misconception on this subject, B.
Mr. Malone, by whom these lines were obligingly 1 It is not yet published.-In a letter to me, communicated, requests me to add the following Mr. Agutter says: “My sermon before the Uni- remark: “In justice to the late Mr. Flood, now versity was more engaged with Dr. Johnson's himself wanting, and highly meriting, an epitaph moral than his intellectual character. It par- from his country, to which his transcendent talents ticularly examined his fear of death, and sug. did the highest honour, as well as the most imporgested several reasons for the apprehensions of tant service; it should be observed, that these the good, and the indifference of the infidel in lines were by no means intended as a regular their last hours; this was illustrated by contrast- monumental inscription for Dr. Johnson. Had ing the death of Dr. Johnson and Mr. Hume : he undertaken to write an appropriate and disthe text was Job xxi. 22–26." B.
criminative epitaph for that excellent and extra
“No need of Latin or of Greek to grace, but was carried as if in a balloon. Tha:
Our Johnson's memory, or inscribe his with his constitution and habits of life he
grave; His native language claims this mournful should have lived seventy-five years, is a
proof that an inherent vivida' vis is a To pay the immortality he gave.” powerful preservative of the human frame.
Man is, in general, made up of contraThe character of SAMUEL JOHNSON dictory qualities ; and these will ever has, I trust, been so developed in the shew themselves in strange succession, course of this work, that they who have where a consistency in appearance a: honoured it with a persual, may be con- least, if not reality, has not been sidered as well acquainted with him. As, attained by long habits of philosophical however, it may be expected that I should discipline. In proportion to the native collect into one view the capital and dis- vigour of the mind, the contradictory tinguishing features of this extraordinary qualities will be the more prominent, man,
I shall endeavour to acquit myself and more difficult to be adjusted ; and, of that part of my biographical undertak- therefore, we are not to wonder that ing, however difficult it may be to do Johnson exhibited an eminent example that which many of my readers will do of this remark which I have made upon better for themselves.
human nature. At different times he His figure was large and well formed, seemed a different man, in some respects ; and his countenance of the cast of an not, however, in any great or essential ancient statue ; yet his appearance was article, upon which he had fully employed rendered strange and somewhat uncouth his mind, and settled certain principles by convulsive cramps, by the scars of that of duty, but only in his manners, and in distemper which it was once imagined the the display of argument and fancy in his royal touch could cure, and by a slovenly talk. He was prone to superstition, bu: mode of dress. He had the use only of not to credulity. Though his imagination one eye ; yet so much does mind govern might incliné him to a belief of the and even supply the deficiency of organs, marvellous and the mysterious, his that his visual perceptions, as far as they vigorous reason examined the evidence extended, were uncommonly quick and wiih jealousy. He was a sincere and accurate. So morbid was his tempera- zealous Christian, of high Church-ofment that he never knew the natural joy England and monarchical principles of a free and vigorous use of his limbs : which he would not tamely suffer to be when he walked, it was like the struggling questioned ; and had, perhaps, at an gait of one in fetters; when he rode, he early period, narrowed his mind some had no command or direction of his horse, what too much, both as to religion and
politics. His being impressed with the ordinary man, those who knew Mr. Flood's vigour of mind, will have no doubt that he would danger of extreme latitude in either, have produced one worthy of his illustrious though he was of a very independen: 1789, after a large subscription had been made for what unfavourable to the prevalence of subject. But the fact was merely this: In Dec. spirit, occasioned his appearing some Dr. Johnson's monument, to which Mr. Flood liberally contributed, Mr. Malone happened to that noble freedom of sentiment which is call on him at his house in Berners Street, and the best possession of man. Nor can it the conversation turning on the proposed monu- be denied, that he had many prejudices; by whomsoever it should be written, ought to be which, however, frequently suggested in Latin. Mr. Flood thought differently. The next many of his pointed sayings, that rather morning, in the postscript to a note on another shew a playfulness of fancy than any subject, he mentioned that he continued of the settled malignity. He was steady and same opinion as on the preceding day, and subjoined the lines above given." B.
inflexible in maintaining the obligations! 1 As I do not see any reason to give a different of religion and morality; both from a character of my illustrious friend now, from what regard for the order of society, and from a him in my Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides is veneration for the GREAT SOURCE of all here adopted. B.
order ; correct, nay, stern in his taste ;
hard to please, and easily offended ; studies, he cannot be considered as master impetuous and irritable in his temper, of any one particular science ; but he had but of a most humane and benevolent accumulated a vast and various collection heart, which shewed itself not only in of learning and knowledge, which was so a most liberal charity, as far as his arranged in his mind, as to be ever in circumstances would allow, but in a readiness to be brought forth. But his thousand instances of active benevolence. superiority over other learned men conHe was afflicted with a bodily disease sisted chiefly in what may be called the which made him often restless and art of thinking, the art of using his mind : fretful;
and with constitutional a certain continual power of seizing the melancholy, the clouds of which darkened useful substance of all that he knew, and the brightness of his fancy, and gave a exhibiting it in a clear and forcible gloomy cast to his whole course of manner; so that knowledge, which we thinking: we, therefore, ought not to often see to be no better than lumber in wonder at his sallies of impatience and men of dull understanding, was in him passion at any time; especially when true, evident, and actual wisdom. His provoked by obtrusive ignorance, or moral precepts are practical ; for they are presuming petulance ; and allowance drawn from an intimate acquaintance with must be made for his uttering hasty and human nature. His maxims carry consatirical sallies even against his best viction ; for they are founded on the friends. And, surely, when it is con- basis of common sense, and a very sidered, that, “amidst sickness and attentive and minute survey of real life. sorrow,” he exerted his faculties in so His mind was so full of imagery, that he many works for the benefit of mankind, might have been perpetually a poet; yet and particularly that he achieved the it is remarkable, that, however rich his great and admirable Dictionary of our prose is in this respect, his poetical pieces, language, we must be astonished at his in general, have not much of that resolution. The solemn text, “of him splendour, but are rather distinguished by
to whom much is given, much will be strong sentiment, and acute observation, : required,” seems to have been ever conveyed in harmonious and energetic
present to his mind, in a rigorous sense, verse, particularly in heroic couplets. and to have made him dissatisfied with Though usually grave, and even awlul in his labours and acts of goodness, however his deportment, he possessed uncommon comparatively great ; so that the unavoid- and peculiar powers of wit and humour ; able consciousness of his superiority was, he frequently indulged himself in colloin that respect, a cause of disquiet. He quial pleasantry; and the heartiest suffered so much from this, and from the merriment was often enjoyed in his gloom which perpetually haunted him company ; with this great advantage, that · and made solitude frightful, that it may be it was entirely free from any poisonous said of him, “If in this life only he had tincture of vice or impiety, it was salutary
hope, he was of all men most miserable.” to those who shared in it. He had - He loved praise, when it was brought to accustomed himself to such accuracy in
him ; but was too proud to seek for it. his common conversation,” that he at all
He was somewhat susceptible of flattery. • As he was general and unconfined in his
2 Though a perfect resemblance of Johnson is not to be found in any age, parts of his char
acter are admirably expressed by Clarendon in 1 In the Olla Podrida, a collection of essays drawing that of Lord Falkland, whom the noble published at Oxford, there is an admirable paper and masterly historian describes at his seat near upon the character of Johnson, written by the Oxford :-"Such an immenseness of wit, such a Reverend Dr. Horne, the last excellent Bishop solidity of judgment, so infinite a fancy bound of Norwich. The following passage is eminently in by a most logical ratiocination.- His achappy :-“ To reject wisdom, because the person quaintance was cultivated by the most polite and of him who communicates it is uncouth, and his accurate men, so that his house was an Univermanners are inelegant ;-what is it but to throw sity in less volume, whither they came, not so away a pine-apple, and assign for a reason the much for repose as study, and to examine and roughness of its coat ?” B.
refine those grosser propositions, which laziness