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he had so eloquently enumerated in his Vanity of Human Wisbes.
On the 17th of June 1783, he was afflicted with a paralytic stroke, which deprived him of speech ; from which, however, he gradually recovered ; so that in July he was able to make a visit to Mr. Langton, at Rochester; and made little excursions, as easily as at any time of his life.
In September, while he was on a visit at Heale, the seat of Mr. Bowles, in Wiltshire, he lost Mrs. Williams, whose death he lamented with all the tenderness which a long connection naturally inspires. This was another shock to a mind like his, ever agitated with the dread of his own dissolution.
Besides the palsy, he was all this year afflicted with the gout, as well as with a farcocele, which he bore with uncommon firmness.
In December, he fought a weak refuge from anxiety, in the institution of a week
ly club, at the Essex Head, in Essex Street, then kept by an old servant of Mr, Thrale’s; but the amusement which he promised himself from this institution, was but of short duration. .
In the beginning of the year 1784, he was seized with a spasmodic asthma, which was foon accompanied by some degree of dropsy. From the latter of these complaints, however, he was greatly relieved by a course of medicine,
The interval of convalescence, which he enjoyed during the summer, induced him to express a wish to visit Italy. Upon this subject, however, his wishes had been anticipated by the anxiety of his friends to preserve his health. His pension not being deemed by them adequate to support the expence of the journey, application was made to the minister, by Mr. Bofwell and Sir Joshua Reynolds, unknown to Johnson, through Lord Chancellor Thurlow, for an
augmentation of it, by 200l. The application was unsuccessful; but the Chancellor, in the handsomest manner, offered to let him have 500l. from his own purse, under the appellation of a loan, but with the intention of conferring it as a present. It is also to be recorded to the honour of Dr. Brocklesby, that he offered to contribute 1ool. per annum, during his residence abroad. Johnson, however, declined both these offers, with a gratitude and dignity of fentiment, rising almost to an equal elevation with the generosity of Lord Thurlow, and Dr. Brocklesby; and, indeed, he was now approaching fast to a state in which money could be of no avail.
In the beginning of July, he set out on a visit to Dr. Taylor, at Ashbourn in Derbyshire, where his complaints appear to have met with but little alleviation. From Derbyshire he proceeded to Litchfield, to take a last view of his native city. After leaving Litchfield, he visited Birmingham and
Oxford, and arrived in London on the 16th of November.
The fine and firm feelings of friendship which occupied so large a portion of Johnson's heart, were eminently displayed, in the many tender interviews which took place between him and his friends in the country, · during his excursion into the North: an excursion which seems to have been undertaken rather from a sense of his approaching dissolution, and a warm wish to bid those he loved a last and long farewel, than from any rational hope that air and exercise would restore him to his former health and vigour.
Soon after his return to London, both the asthma and dropsy became more violent and distressful. Eternity presented to his imagination an awful prospect, and with as much virtue as in general is the lot of man, he shuddered at the approach of his diffolution. He felt strong perturbations of mind.
His friends endeavoured all in their power to awaken the comfortable reflections of a life well spent. They prayed with him ; and Johnson poured out occasionally the warmeft effusions of piety and devotion.
He had for some time kept a journal in Latin of the state of his illness, and the remedies which he used, under the title of Ægri Ephemeris, which he began on the 6th July, but continued it no longer than the 8th November, finding, perhaps, that it was a mournful and unavailing register.
His attention to the cause of literature was evinced, among other circumstances, by his communicating to Mr. Nichols a lift of the original authors of “ The Universal History,” mentioning their several shares in that work. It has, according to his direction, been deposited in the “ British Mufeum,” and is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for December 1784. His inte-grity was evinced, by paying a small debt