Johnson Dies in December

Johnson was 75 years old when in died in 1784. Even apart from his failing health, it was a troubled and turbulent year for him, one of dramatic changes and actions. It’s as if everything was starting to fall apart anyway, so death near the end of the year was the logical conclusion. He seemed […]

Johnson Praying

Johnson was notoriously hard on himself. Not in the sense that he doubted his intelligence or his ability to write or debate, for example, but more in the sense of himself as a person, his morality, his character, his traits. Often near the end of the year (but sometimes also throughout the year or on […]

“The Down of Plenty”

I took the afternoon off on Wednesday and went to a spa. First time in my life for any such thing (and I just turned 60 a couple of weeks ago). I wandered around in a bathrobe and partook of the various luxurious offerings: large outdoor hot tubs, saunas that drained me, a (ahem) “foot […]