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I then went to Evening Prayers, and was
I gave the pew-keepers each five shillings and three-pence.
April 12, near one in the morning. I used my prayer,
with my ordinary devotions, and hope to lead henceforward a better life.
Friday, June 18, 1773. This day, after dinner, died Mrs. Salis
bury; she had for some days almost lost the power of speaking. Yesterday, as I touched her hand, and kissed it, she pressed my hand between her two hands, which she probably intended as the parting caress. At night her speech returned a little; and she said, among other things, to her daughter, I have had much time, and I hope I have used it. This morning being called about nine to feel her pulse, I said at parting, God bless you, for Jesus Christ's sake. She smiled, as pleased. She had her senses perhaps to the dying moment.
July 22,-73. This day I found this* book, with the
resolutions; some of which I had forgotten, but remembered my design of reading the Pentateuch and Gospels, though I have not pursued it.
Of the time past since these resolutions
were made, I can give no very laudable account. Between Easter and Whitsuntide, having always considered that time as propitious to study, I attempted to learn the Low Dutch language; my application was very slight, and my
* A Book, in which this, and the preceding Meditations
on Good Friday and Easter Sunday are written,
memory very fallacious, though whether more than in my earlier years, I am not very certain. My progress was interrupted by a fever, which, by the imprudent use of a small print, left an inflammation in my useful eye, which was not removed but by two copious bleedings, and the daily use of catharticks for a long time. The effect yet remains.
My memory has been for a long time very
much confused. Names, and persons, and events, slide away strangely from
But I grow easier.
The other day, looking over old papers,
I perceived a resolution to rise early always occurring. I think I was ashamed, or grieved, to find how long and how often I had resolved, what yet, except for about one half year, I have never done. My nights are now such as give me no quiet rest; whether I have not
lived resolving till the possibility of performance is past, I know not. God help me, I will yet try.
TALISKER, IN SKIE,
Sept. 24, 1773.
On last Saturday was my sixty-fourth
birth-day. I might perhaps have forgotten it, had not Boswell told me of it; and, what pleased me less, told the family at Dunvegan.
The last year is added to those of which
little use has been made. I tried in the summer to learn Dutch, and was interrupted by an inflammation in my eye. I set out in August on this journey to Skie. I find my memory uncertain, but hope it is only by a life immethodical and scattered. Of my body, I do not perceive that exercise, or change of air,
has yet either increased the strength or activity. My nights are still disturbed by flatulencies.
My hope is, for resolution I dare no longer
call it, to divide my time regularly, and to keep such a journal of my time, as may give me comfort in reviewing it. But when I consider my age, and the broken state of my body, I have great reason to fear, lest death should lay hold upon me, while I am yet only designing to live. But I have
, look down upon me with pity. Thou hast protected me in childhood and youth; support me, Lord, in my declining years. Preserve me from the dangers of sinful presumption. Give me, if ít be best for me, stability of purposes, and tranquillity of mind. Let the year which I have now