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a drop to a grain, is more than half an ounce. I thank you, dear Sir, for your attention in ordering the medicines ; your attention to me has never failed. If the virtue of medicines could be enforced by the benevolence of the prescriber, how soon should I be well!”.
" August 19.-The relaxation of the asthma still continues, yet I do not trust it wholly to itself, but soothe it now and then with an opiate. I not only perform the act of respiration with less labour, but I can walk with fewer intervals of rest, and with greater freedom of motion. I never thought well of Dr. James's compounded medicines ; his ingredients appear to me sometimes inefficacious and trifling, and sometimes heterogeneous and destructive of each other. This prescription exhibits a composition of about three hundred and thirty grains, in which there are four grains of emetic tartar, and six drops [of] thebaic tincture. He that writes thus surely, writes for show. The basis of his medicine is the gum ammoniacum, which dear Dr. Lawrence used to give, but of which I never saw any effect. We will, if you please, let this medicine alone. The squills have every suffrage, and in the squills we will rest for the present.”
“Aug. 21.–The kindness which you show by having me in your thoughts upon all occasions will, I hope, always fill my heart with gratitude. Be pleased to return my thanks to Sir George Baker, for the consideration which he has bestowed upon me. Is this the balloon that has been so long expected, this balloon 2 to which I subscribed, but without payment ? It is pity that philosophers have been disappointed, and shame that they have been cheated; but I know not well how to prevent either. Of this experiment I have read nothing: where was it exhibited ? and who was the man that ran away with so much money ? Continue, dear Sir, to write often, and more at a time; for none of your prescriptions operate to their proper uses more certainly than your letters operate as cordials."
The eminent physician, who was created a Baronet in 1776, and died June 1809, ætat. 88.-- Croker.
? Does Dr. Johnson here allude to the unsuccessful attempt made in 1784; by De Moret, who was determined to anticipate Lunardi in his first experiment in England ? “Moret attempted to inflate his balloon with rarefied air, but by some accident in the process it sunk upon the fire ; and the populace, who regarded the whole as an imposture, rushing in, completely destroyed the machine.”—Brayley's Londiniana, vol. ii., p. 162, note.—Markland.
“ August 26.—I suffered you to escape last post without a letter, but you are not to expect such indulgence very often ; for I write not so much because I have any thing to say, as because I hope for an answer; and the vacancy of my life here makes a letter of great value. I have here little company and little amusement; and, thus abandoned to the contemplation of my own miseries, I am something gloomy and depressed: this too I resist as I can, and find opium, I think, useful ; but I seldom take more than one grain. Is not this strange weather? Winter absorbed the spring, and now autumn is come before we have had summer. But let not our kindness for each other imitate the inconstancy of the seasons.”
“Sept. 2.—Mr. Windham has been here to see me;' he came, I think, forty miles out of his way, and staid about a day and a half; perhaps I make the time shorter than it was. Such conversation I shall not have again till I come back to the regions of literature; and there Windham is inter stellas ? Luna minores.”
He then mentions the effects of certain medicines, as taken ; that“ Nature is recovering its original powers, and the functions returning to their proper state. God continue his mercies, and grant me to use them rightly!”
“ Sept. 9.—Do you know the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire? And have you ever seen Chatsworth ? I was at Chatsworth on Monday: I had seen it before, but never when its owners were at home; I was very kindly received, and honestly pressed to stay; but I told them that a sick man is not a fit inmate of a great house. But I hope to go again some time.”
“ Sept. 11.-I think nothing grows worse, but all rather better, except sleep, and that of late has been at its old pranks. Last evening, I felt what I had not known for a long time, an inclination to walk for amusement; I took a short walk, and came back again neither breathless nor fatigued. This has been a gloomy, frigid, ungenial summer; but of late it seems to mend; I hear the heat sometimes mentioned, but I do not feel it :
? In Windham's Diary this visit is recorded : “ Sept. 1. Left Ashbourne at half-past one, having gone with Dr. Johnson in the morning to prayers, but regretted upon reflection that I had not stayed another day.” Diary, p. 20.-Editor.
3 Hor. Carm, i. 12, 47. It is remarkable that so good a Latin scholar as Johnson should have been so inattentive to the metre, as by mistake to have written stellas instead of ignes.
* Præterea minimus gelido jam in corpore sanguis
Febre calet solâ." I hope, however, with good help, to find means of supporting a winter at home, and to hear and tell at the Club what is doing, and what ought to be doing, in the world. I have no company here, and shall naturally come home hungry for conversation. To wish you, dear Sir, more leisure, would not be kind; but what leisure you have, you must bestow upon me."
“ Sept 16.--I have now let you alone for a long time, having indeed little to say. You charge me somewhat unjustly with luxury. At Chatsworth, you should remember that I have eaten but once; and the doctor, with whom I live, follows a milk diet. I grow no fatter, though my stomach, if it be not disturbed by physic, never fails me. I now grow weary of solitude, and think of removing next week to Lichfield, a place of more society, but otherwise of less convenience. When I am settled, I shall write again. Of the hot weather that you mentioned, we bave [rot] bad in Derbyshire very much; and for myself I seldom feel heat, and suppose that my frigidity is the effect of my distempera supposition which naturally leads me to hope that a hotter climate may be useful. But I hope to stand another English winter."
“ Lichfield, Sept. 29.-On one day I had three letters about the air-balloon : 2 yours was far the best, and has enabled me to impart to my friends in the country an idea of this species of amusement. In amusement, mere amusement, I am afraid it must end, for I do not find that its course can be directed so as that it should serve any purposes of communication, and it can give no new intelligence of the state of the air at different heights, till they have ascended above the height of mountains, which they seem never likely to do. I came hither on the 27th. How
1 Juv., X. 217.
2 Lunardi had ascended from the Artillery Ground on the 15th of this month; and as it was the first ascent in a balloon which had been witnessed in England, it was not surprising that very general interest was excited by the spectacle, and that so many allusions should be made to it by Johnson and his correspondents. The late Lord Tenterden, whilst a student at Oxford, obtained a prize in this year, for his Latin verses entitied Globus Aërostaticus.—Markland.
“Sept. 29. About nine came to Brookes', where I heard that the balloon had been burnt about four o'clock.”— Windham's Diary, P. 24.Editor.
long I shall stay, I have not determined. My dropsy is gone, and my asthma is much remitted, but I have felt myself a little declining these two days, or at least to-day; but such vicissitudes must be expected. One day may be worse than another; but this last month is far better than the former ; if the next should be as much better than this, I shall run about the town on my own legs."
“ Oct. 6.—The fate of the balloon I do not much lament: to make new balloons is to repeat the jest again. We now know a method of mounting into the air, and I think, are not likely to know more. The vehicles can serve no use till we can guide them; and they can gratify no curiosity till we mount with them to greater heights than we can reach without; till we rise above the tops of the highest mountains, which we have yet not done. We know the state of the air in all its regions, to the top of Teneriffe, and therefore learn nothing from those who navigate a balloon below the clouds. The first experiment, however, was bold, and deserved applause and reward: but since it has been performed, and its event is known, I had rather now find a medicine that can ease an asthma."
“ Oct. 25.-You write to me with a zeal that animates and a tenderness that melts me. I am not afraid either of a journey to London, or a residence in it. I came down with little fatigue, and am now not weaker. In the smoky atmosphere I was delivered from the dropsy, which I consider as the original and radical disease. The town is my element: there are my friends, there are my books, to which I have not yet bid farewell, and there are my amusements. Sir Joshua told me long ago, that my vocation was to public life; and I hope still to keep my station, till God shall bid me Go in peace.”
? His love of London continually appears. In a letter froin him to Mrs. Smart, wife of his friend the poet, which is published in a well. written life of him, prefixed to an edition of his poems, in 1791, there is the followiślng sentence: “ To one that has passed so many years in the pleasures a nd opulence of London, there are few places that can give much deligldit."
Once upolin reading that line in the curious epitaph quoted in “ The Spectator,”–u
Y" Born in New England, did in London die," — he laughed. ahind said, “I do not wonder at this. It would have been strange if, bovirn in London, he had died in New England.”
TO MR. HOOLE.
“ Ashbourne, Aug. 7. “Since I was here, I have two little letters from you, and have not had the gratitude to write. But every man is most free with his best friends, because he does not suppose that they can suspect him of intentional incivility. One reason for my omission is, that being in a place to which you are wholly a stranger, I have no topics of correspondence. If you had any knowledge of Ashbourne, I could tell you of two Ashbourne men, who, being last week condemned at Derby to be hanged for robbery, went and hanged themselves in their cell. But this, however it may supply us with talk, is nothing to you. Your kindness, I know, would make you glad to hear some good of me, but I have not much good to tell : if I grow not worse, it is all that I can say. I hope Mrs. Hoole receives more help from her migration. Make her my compliments, and write again to, dear Sir, your affectionate servant."
“Aug. 13.— I thank you for your affectionate letter. I hope we shall both be the better for each other's friendship, and I hope we shall not very quickly be parted. Tell Mr. Nicholas that I shall be glad of his correspondence when his business allows him a little remission; though to wish him less business, that I may have more pleasure, would be too selfish. To pay for seats at the balloon is not very necessary, because in less than a minute they who gaze at a mile's distance will see all that can be seen. About the wings, I am of your mind: they cannot at all assist it, nor I think regulate its motion. I am now grown somewhat easier in my body, but my mind is somewhat depressed. About the Club I am in no great pain. The forfeitures go on, and the house, I hear, is improved for our future meetings. I hope we shall meet often and sit long."
“Sept. 4.--Your letter was indeed long in coming, but it was very welcome. Our acquaintance has now subsisted long, and our recollection of each other involves a great space, and many little occurrences which melt the thoughts to tenderness. Write to me, therefore, as frequently as you can. I hear from Dr. Brocklesby and Mr. Ryland that the Club is not crowded. I hope we shall enliven it when winter brings us together.”