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6 afraid, but that would not be true, for I never « was afraid of any man ;-but I never knew 6 that I was to meet Thurlow, but I knew I “ had something to encounter.” The Chandellor 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 observa6 tion of mankind, the generosity of your 6. Lordship's offer raises in me not less wonder " than gratitude. Bounty, so liberally be“stowed, I should gladly receive if my condi« tion made it necessary; for to such a mind cwho would not be proud to own his obliga~ tions? But it has pleased God to restore me 66 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 of myself the charge of advancing a false claim. “ My journey to the continent, though I once “ thought it necessary, was never much en“ couraged by my physicians: and I was very “ desirous that your Lordship should be told it
by Sir Joshua Reynolds as an event very un" certain; for, if I grew much better, I should * not be willing; if much worse, I should not “ be able to migrate, Your Lordship was first “ solicited without my knowledge; but when I " was told that you were pleased to honour me
" with your patronage, I did not expect to hear “of a refusal; yet, as I have had no long time “ 10 brood hopes, and have not rioted in ima“ginary opulence, this cold reception has been “scarce a disappointment; and from your “Lordship's kindness I have received a bene“ fit which only men like you are able to be“stow. I shall now live mihi carior, with a "bigher opinion of my own merit.
“ I am, my Lord,
“ most grateful,
“SAMUEL Johnson." * September, 1784."
We have in this instance the exertion of two congenial minds; one, with a generous impulse relieving merit in distress; and the other, by gratitude and dignity of sentiment rising to an equal elevation.
It seems, however, that greatness of mind is not confined to greatness of rank. Dr. Brocklesby was not content to assist with his medical art; he resolved to minister to his patient's mind, and pluck from his memory the sorrow which the late refusal from a high quarter might occasion. To enable him to visit the south of France in pursuit of health, he offered from his own funds an annuity of une hundred pounds, payable quarterly. This was a sweet oblivious antidote, but it was not accepted for the reasons, assigned to the Chancellor. The proposal, however, will do honour to Dr. Brocklesby, as
long as liberal sentiment shall be ranked among the social virtues.
In the month of October, 1784, we find Dr. Johnson corresponding with Mr. Nichols, the intelligent compiler of the Gentleman's Maga. zine, and, in the langour of sickness, still desirous to contribute all in his power to the adyancement of science and useful knowledge. He says, in a letter to that gentleman, dated Lichfield, October 20, that he should be glad to give so skilful a lover of Antiquities any information. He adds, “ At Ashburne, where I had “ very little company, I had the luck to borrow “ Mr. Bowyer's Life, a book so full of contem“porary history, that a literary man must find “ some of his old friends. I thought that I “ could now and then have told you some hints “worth your notice : We perhaps may talk a “ life over. I hope we shall be much together. “ You must now be to me what you were be“ fore, and what dear Mr. Allen was besides. “ He was taken unexpectedly away, but I think “'he was a very good man. I have made very " little progress in recovery. I am very weak, “ and very sleepless ; but I live on and hope."
In that languid condition he arrived, on the 16th of November, at his house in Bolt-Court, there to end his days. He laboured with the dropsy and an asthma. He was atiended by Dr. Heberden, Dr. Warren, Dr. Brocklesby, Dr. Butter, and Mr. Cruikshank, the eminent surgeon. Eternity presented to his mind an aweful prospect, and, with as much virtue as perhaps ever is the lot of man, he shuddered at .the thought of his dissolution. His friends awakened the comfortable reflection of a wellspent life; and, as bis end drew near, they had the satisfaction of seeing him composed, and even chearful, insomuch that he was able, in the course of his restless pights, to make translations of Greek epigrams from the Anthologia ; and to compose a Latin epitaph for his father, his mother, and his brother Nathaniel. He meditated, at the same time, a Latin inscription to the memory of Garrick ; but his vigour was exhausted.
His love of Literature was a passion that stuck to his last sand. Seven days before his death he wrote the following letter to his friend Mr. Nichols :
“SIR, -The late learned Mr. Swinton of Oxford having one day remarked that one man, meaning, I suppose, no man but himself, could assign all the parts of the Ancient Universal History to their proper authors, at the request of Sir Robert Chambers, or myself, gave the account which I now transmit to you in his own hand, being willing that of so great a work the history should be known, and that each writer should receive his due proportion of praise from posterity.
“I recommend to you to preserve this scrap of literary intelligence in Mr. Swinton's own hand, or to deposit it in the Museum *, that
* It is there deposited. J. N. VOL. I.
the veracity of this account may never be doubted.
“ I am, Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, “ Dec. 6, 1784. “SAM. JOHNSON.”
- Numidians. ,
Turks, Tartars, and Moguls. - Indians.
Dissertation on the peopling of America. The History of the Dissertation on the Inde
pendency of the Arabs. The Cosmogony, and a small part of the his
tory immediately following. By M. 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 Constantino
politan Empire. By Dr. Campbell.