Dr Johnson pp 163-171 | Cite as

The Final Weeks II

  • Sir John Hawkins
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


His complaints still increasing, I continued pressing him to make a will, but he still procrastinated that business. On 27 November [1784], in the morning, I went to his house, with a purpose still farther to urge him not to give occasion, by dying intestate, for litigation among his relations; but finding that he was gone to pass the day with the Revd Mr Strahan, at Islington, I followed him thither, and found there our old friend Mr Ryland, and Mr Hoole. Upon my sitting down, he said that the prospect of the change he was about to undergo, and the thought of meeting his Saviour, troubled him, but that he had hope that he would not reject him. I then began to discourse with him about his will, and the provision for Frank [Barber], until he grew angry. He told me that he had signed and sealed the paper I left him. But that, said I, had blanks in it, which, as it seems, you have not filled up with the names of the executors. ‘You should have filled them up yourself,’ answered he. I replied that such an act would have looked as if I meant to prevent his choice of a fitter person. ‘Sir,’ said he, ‘these minor virtues are not to be exercised in matters of such importance as this.’ At length, he said that on his return home, he would send for a clerk, and dictate a will to him. You will then, said I, be inops consilii;1 rather do it now.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987

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  • Sir John Hawkins

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