Monday, December 13, 2010

Johnson & Johnson (and more Johnson)

Samuel Johnson, the English writer, lexicographer, critic, wit and subject of Boswell's Life of Johnson, died on this day in 1784. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

"I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving: having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming plans of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short. O GOD, grant me to resolve aright, and to keep my resolutions, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen." Prayers

"I ventured to tell him, that I had been, for moments in my life, not afraid of death; therefore I could suppose another man in that state of mind for a considerable space of time. He said he never had a moment in which death was not terrible to him. He added, that it had been observed, that scarce any man dies in publick, but with apparent resolution; from that desire of praise which never quits us." Boswell, Life

"Let us, my dear, pray for one another, and consider our sufferings as notices mercifully given us to prepare ourselves for another state.
"I live now in a melancholy way. My old friend Mr. Levet is dead, who lived with me in the house, and was useful and companionable; Mrs. Desmoulins is gone away; and Mrs. Williams is so much decayed , that she can add little to another's gratifications.
"The world passes away, and we are passing with it; but there is, doubtless, another world, which will endure for ever. Let us fit ourselves for it."
Johnson: Letter to Lucy Porter

"That we must all die, we always knew; I wish I had remembered it sooner."
Johnson: Letter to Sir Joshua Reynolds

"Such is the course of nature, that whoever lives long must outlive those whom he loves and honours. Such is the condition of our present existence, that life must one time lose its associations, and every inhabitant of the earth must walk downward to the grave alone and unregarded, without any partner of his joy or grief, without any interested witness of his misfortunes or success."
Johnson: Idler, Jan. 27, 1759