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death. At the interval of each hour, they assisted him wo sit up in his bed, and move his legs, which were in much pain; when he regularly addressed himself to fervent prayer; and though, sometimes, his voice failed him, his sense never did, during that time. The only sustenance he received was cider and water. He said his mind was prepared, and the time to his dissolution seemed long. At six in the morning, he inquired the hour, and, on being informed, said, that all went on regularly, and he felt he had but a few hours to live.
“At ten o'clock in the morning, he parted from Cawston, saying, "You should not detain Mr. Windham's servant : I thank you; bear my remembrance to your master.' Cawston says, that no man could appear more collected, more devout, or less terrified at the thoughts of the approaching minute.
“ This account, which is so much more agreeable than, and somewhat different from, yours, has given us the satisfaction of thinking that that great man died as he lived, full of resignation, strengthened in faith, and joyful in hope."
few days before his death, he had asked Sir John Hawkins, as one of his executors, where he should be buried ; and on being answered, “Doubtless, in Westminster Abbey," seemed to feel a satisfaction, very natural to a poet ; and indeed in my opinion very natural to every man of any imagination, who has no family sepulchre in which he can be laid with his fathers. Accordingly, upon Monday, December 20., his remains [enclosed in a leaden coffin] were deposited in that noble and rea nowned edifice (in the south transept, near the fog of Shakspeare's monument, and close to the coffis
of his friend Garrick] ; and over his grave was placed a large blue flag-stone, with this inscription :
“ Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
M. DCC. LXXXIV.
His funeral was attended by a respectable number of his friends, particularly such of the members of The Literary Club as were in town; and was also honoured with the presence of several of the Reverend Chapter of Westminster. Mr. Burke, Sir Joseph Banks, Mr. Windham, Mr. Langton, Sir Charles Bunbury, and Mr. Colman, bore his pall. His schoolfellow, Dr. Taylor, performed the mournful office of reading the burial service.
I trust I shall not be accused of affectation, when I declare, that I find myself unable to express all that I felt upon the loss of such a “guide, philosopher, and friend.” (1) I shall, therefore, not say
(1) On the subject of Johnson I may adopt the words of Sir John Harrington concerning his venerable tutor and diocesan, Dr. John Still, Bishop of Bath and Wells : “ who hath given me some helps, more hopes, all encouragements in my best studies : to whom I never came but I grew more religious; from whom I never went, but I parted better instructed. Of him, therefore, my acquaintance, my friend, my instructor, if I speak much, it were not to be marvelled; if I speak frankly, it is not to be blamed; and though I speak partially, it were to be pardoned." —Nugæ Antiquæ, vol. i. p. 136. There is one circumstance in Sir John's character of Bishop Still, which is peculiarly applicable to Johnson: “ He became so famous a disputer, that the learnedest were even afraid to dispute with him; and he, finding his own strength, could not stick to warn them in their arguments to take heed to their answers, like a perfect fencer that will tell aforehand in which button he will give the venew, or like a cunning chess-player that will appoint
one word of my own, but adopt those of an eminent friend(1), which he uttered with an abrupt felicity superior to all studied compositions: -“He ha. made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. Johnson is dead. Let us go to the next best : there is nobody; no man can be said to put you in mind of Johnson."
As Johnson had abundant homage paid to him during his life (2), so no writer in this nation ever had such an accumulation of literary honours after his death. A sermon upon that event was preached in St. Mary's Church, Oxford, before the University, by the Rev. Mr. Agutter, of Magdalen College. (3) The Lives, the Memoirs, the Essays, both
year. - M.
aforehand with which pawn and in what place he will give the mate.”
- Ibid. (1) The late Right Hon. William Gerrard Hamilton, who had been intimately acquainted with Dr. Johnson near thirty years. He died in London, July 16. 1796, in his sixty-eighth
(2) Beside the Dedications to him by Dr. Goldsmith, the Rev. Dr. Franklin, and the Rev. Mr. Wilson, which I have mentioned according to their dates, there was one by a lady, of a versification of “ Aningait and Ajut," and one by the ingenious Mr. Walker, of his“ Rhetorical Grammar.” I have introduced into this work several compliments paid to him in the writings of his contemporaries; but the number of them is so great, that we may fairly say that there was almost a general tribute. Let me not be forgetful of the honour done to him by Ccionel Myddleton, of Gwaynynog, near Denbigh; who, on the banks of a rivulet in his park, where Johnson delighted to stand and repeat verses, erected an urn with the inscription given antè, Vol. V. p. 212.-B.—Here followed an account of the various portraits of Dr. Johnson, which is transferred to tne Appendix. — C.
(3) It is not yet published. In a letter to me, Mr. Agutter says, “ My sermon before the University was more engaged with Dr. Jol.rison's moral than his intellectual character. cula. ly examined his fear of death, and suggested several rea
in pros and verse, which have been published concerning him, would make many volumos. The numerous attacks too upon him I consider as part of his consequence, upon the principle which he himself so well knew and asserted. Many who trembled at his presence were forward in assault, when they no longer apprehended danger. When one of his little pragmatical foes was invidiously snarling at his fame, at Sir Joshua Reynolds's table, the Reverend Dr. Parr exclaimed, with his usual bold animation, “ Ay, now that the old lion is dead, every ass thinks he may kick at him.
A monument for him, in Westminster Abbey, was resolved upon soon after his death, and was supported by a most respectable contribution ; but the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's having come to a resolution of admitting monuments there upon a liberal and magnificent plan, that cathedral was afterwards fixed on, as a place in which a cenotaph should be erected to his memory: and in the cathedral of his native city of Lichfield, a smaller one is to be erected. (1) To compose his epitaph, rould not but excite the warmest competition of
sons for the apprehensions of the good, and the indifference of the infidel, in their last hours; this was illustrated by contrasting the death of Dr. Johnson and Mr. Hume: the text was, Job, xxi. 22–26."
(1) This monument has been since erected. It consists of a medallion, with a tablet beneath, on which is this inscription :
The friends of SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
A Native of Lichfield,
As a tribute of respect
He died Dec. 13. 1784, aged 75.- M.
genius. (') If laudari à laudato viro be praise
Our Johnson's memory, or inscribe his grave;
To pay the immortality he gave.” (3)
(1) The Rev. Dr. Parr, on being requested to undertake it, thus expressed himself in a letter to William Seward, Esq.: “ I leave this mighty task to some hardier and some abler writer. The variety and splendour of Johnson's attainments, the peculiarities of his character, his private virtues, and his literary publications, fill me with confusion and dismay, when I reflect upon the confined and difficult species of composition, in which alone they can be expressed with propriety, upon this monument.” But I understand that this great scholar, and warm admirer of Johnson, has yielded to repeated solicitations, and executed the very difficult undertaking.
(2) To prevent any misconception on this subject, Mr. Malone, by whom these lines were obligingly coinmunicated, requests me to add the following remark :
“ In justice to the late Mr. Flood, now himself wanting, and highly meriting, an epitaph from his country, to which his transcendent talents did the highest honour, as well as the most important service, it should be observed, that these lines were by no means intended as a regular monumental inscription for Dr. Johnson. Had he undertaken to write an appropriate and discriminative epitaph for that excellent and extraordinary man, those who knew Mr. Flood's vigour of mind will have no doubt that he would have produced one worthy of his illustrious subject. But the fact was merely this: In December, 1789, after a large subscription had been made for Dr. Johnson's monument, to which Mr. Flood liberally con. tributed, Mr. Malone happened to call on him at his house in Berners Street, and the conversation turning on the proposed monument, Mr. Malone maintained that the epitaph, by whomsoever it should be written. ought to be in Latin. Mr. Flood thought differently. The next morning, in a postscript to a note on another subject, he mentioned that he continued of the same opinion as on the preceding day, and subjoined the lines above given."
(3) Dr. Johnson's monument, consisting of a colossal figure leaning against a column (but not very strongly resembling him), has since the death of Mr. Boswell been placed in St. Paul's Cathedra', having been first opened to public view