« PreviousContinue »
but rested all night in a chair with much relief, and have been to day more warm, active, and cheerful.
You have more than once wondered at my complaint of solitude, when you hear that I am crowded with visits. Inopem me copia fecit. Visitors are no proper companions in the chamber of sickness. They come when I could sleep or read, they stay till I am weary, they force me to attend when my mind calls for relaxation, and to speak when my powers will hardly actuate my tongue. The amusements and consolations of langour and depression are conferred by familiar and domestick companions, which can be visited or called at will, and can occasionally be quitted or dismissed, who do not obstruct accommodation by ceremony, or destroy indolence by awakening effort.
Such society I had with Levet and Williams; such I had where I am never likely to have it more.
I wish dear Lady, to you, and my dear girls, many a cheerful and pioussChristmas. I am, your, &c.
LETTER LIV. To Mrs. Piozzi.
London July 8, 1784. WHAT you have done, however I may lament it, I have no pretence to resent, as it has not been injurious to me; I therefore breathe out one sigh more of tenderness, perhaps useless, but at least sincere.
I wish that God may grant you every blessing, that you may be happy in this world for its short continuance, and eternally happy in a better state; and whatever I can contribute to your happiness I am very ready to repay, for that kindness which soothed twenty years of a life radically wretched.
Do not think slightly of the advice which I now pre. sume to offer. Prevail upon Mr. Piozzi to settle in England: you may live here with more dignity than in
Italy, and with more security; your rank will be higher, and your fortune more under your own eye. I desire not to detail all my reasons, but every argument of prudence and interest is for England, and only some phantoms of imagination seduce you to Italy.
I am afraid however that my counsel is vain, yet I have eased my heart by giving it.
When Queen Mary took the resolution of sheltering herself in England, the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, attempting to dissuade her, attended on her journey; and when they came to the irremeable stream that separated the two kingdoms, walked by her side into the water, in the middle of which he seized her bridle, and with earnestness proportioned to her danger and his own affection pressed her to return. The Queen went forward. If the parallel reaches thus far, may it go no further, The tears stand in my eyes.
I am going into Derbyshire, and hope to be followed by your good wishes, for I am, with great affection,
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.
On my Birth-Day.
September 1, 1738. O GOD, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Father of all mercies, I thine unworthy servant, do give thee most humble thanks, for all thy goodness and loving kindness to me. I bless thee for my creation, preservation, and redemption, for the knowledge of thy Sop Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and the hope of glory. In the days of childhood and youth, in the midst of weakness, blindness, and danger, Thou hast protected me; amidst afflictions of mind, body, and estate, Thou hast supported me; and amidst vanity and wickedness, Thou hast spared me. Grant, O merciful Father, that I may have a lively sense of thy mercies. Create in me a contrite heart, that I may worthily lament my sins and acknowledge my wickedness, and obtain remission and forgiveness through the satisfaction of Jesus Christ. And, O Lord, enable me, by thy grace, to redeem the time I have spent in sloth, vanity, and wickedness; to make use of thy gifts to the honour of thy name; to lead a new life in thy faith, fear, and love; and finally to obtain everlasting life. Grant this, Almighty Lord, for the merits and
through the mediation of our most holy and blessed Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, Three Persons and one God, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Transcribed June 26, 1768. This is the first solemn prayer of which I have a copy.
Whether I composed any before this I question.
Prayer on the Rambler, ALMIGHTY God, the giver of all good things, without whose help all labour is ineffectual, and without whose grace all wisdom is folly; grant, I beseech Thee, that in this my undertaking, thy Holy Spirit may not be withheld from me; but that I may promote thy glory, and the salvation both of myself and others; grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Composed by me on the Death of my Wife, and reposited
among her Memorials, May 8, 1752.
April 24, 1752. ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, who lovest those whom Thou punishest, and turneșt away thy anger from the penitent, look down with pity upon my sorrows, and grant thạt the affliction which it has pleased Thee to bring upon me, may awaken my conscience, enforce my resolutions of a better life, and impress upon me such conviction of thy power and goodness, that I may place in Thee my only felicity, and endeavour to please Thee in all my thoughts, words, and actions. Grant, O Lord, that I may not lauguish in fruitless and unavailing sorrow, but that I may consider from whose hand all good
and evil is received, and may remember that I am punished for my sins, and hope for comfort only by repentance. Grant. O merciful God, that by the assistance of thy Holy Spirit I may repent, and be comforted, obtain that peace which the world cannot give, pass the residue of my life in humble resignation and cheerful obedience; and when it shall please Thee to call me from this mortal state, resign myself into thy hands with faith and confidence, and finally obtain mercy and everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May 6, 1752. O LORD, our heavenly Father, without whom all purposes are frustrate, all efforts are vain, grant me the assistance of thy Holy Spirit, that I may not sorrow as one without hope, but may now return to the duties of my present state with humble confidence in thy protection, and so govern my thoughts and actions, that neither business
withdraw my mind from Thee, nor idleness lay me open to vain imaginations; that neither praise may fill me with pride, nor censure with discontent; but that in the changes of this life, I may fix my heart upon the reward which Thou hast promised to them that serve Thee; and that whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever are pure, whatever are lovely, whatever are of good report, wherein there is virtue, wherein there is praise, I may think upon and do, and obtain mercy and everlasting happiness. Grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.