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But still he complains of sleepless nights and idle days, and forgetfulness, or neglect of resolutions. He thus pathetically expresses himself:
"Surely I shall not spend my whole life with my own total disapprobation." -"Prayers and Meditations," p. 185.
Mr. Macbean, whom I have mentioned more than once, as one of Johnson's humble friends, a deserving but unfortunate man, being now oppressed by age and poverty, Johnson solicited the Lord Chancellor Thurlow, to have him admitted into the Charter-house. I take the liberty to insert his Lordship's answer, as I am eager to embrace every occasion of augmenting the respectable notion which should ever be entertained of my illustrious friend :—
TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
London, October 24, 1780. "I have this moment received your letter, dated the 19th, and returned from Bath.
"In the beginning of the summer I placed one in the Chartreux, without the sanction of a recommendation so distinct and so authorative as yours of Macbean; and I am afraid that, according to the establishment of the House, the opportunity of making the charity so good amends will not soon recur. But whenever a vacancy shall happen, if you'll favour me with notice of it, I will try to recommend him to the place, even though it should not be my turn to nominate.
"I am, Sir, with great regard,
"Your most faithful and obedient servant,
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
Oct. 17, 1780.
"I am sorry to write you a letter that will not please you, and yet it is at last what I resolve to do. This year must pass without an interview; the summer has been foolishly lost, like many other of my summers and winters. I hardly saw a green field, but stayed in town to work, without working much. "Mr. Thrale's loss of health has lost him the election; he is now going to Brighthelmstone, and expects me to go with him; and how long I shall stay, I cannot tell. I do not much like the place, but yet I shall go, and stay while my stay is desired. We must, therefore, content ourselves with knowing what we know as well as man can know the mind of man, that we love one another, and that we wish each other's happiness, and that the lapse of a year cannot lessen our mutual kindness.
"I was pleased to be told that I accused Mrs. Boswell unjustly, in supposing that she bears me ill-will. I love you so much, that I would be glad to love all' that love you, and that you love; and I have love very ready for Mrs. Boswell, if she thinks it worthy of acceptance. I hope all the young ladies and gentlemen are well.
"I take a great liking to your brother. He tells me that his father received him kindly, but not fondly; however, you seemed to have lived well enough at Auchinleck, while you stayed. Make your father as happy as you can.
"You lately told me of your health: I can tell you in return, that my health has been, for more than a year past, better than it has been for many years before. Perhaps it may please GOD to give us some time together before we are parted. I am, dear Sir,
"Yours most affectionately,
"TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH.
December 30, 1780.
"SIR, "I hope you will forgive the liberty I take, in soliciting your interposition with his Grace the Archbishop: my first petition was successful, and I therefore venture on a second.
"The matron of the Chartreux is about to resign her place, and Mrs. Desmoulins, a daughter of the late Dr. Swinfen, who was well known to your father, is desirous of succeeding her. She has been accustomed, by keeping a boarding school, to the care of children, and I think is very likely to discharge her duty. She is in great distress, and therefore may probably receive the benefit of a charitable foundation. If you wish to see her, she will be willing to give an account of herself.
"If you shall be pleased, Sir, to mention her favourably to his Grace, you will do a great act of kindness to, Sir, your most obliged
"And most humble servant,