LATELY — 20 August 2011

What Samuel Johnson writes when Samuel Johnson Finds he Cannot Speak

Here’s Samuel Johnson at age 73, upon waking in the night and discovering that he couldn’t speak (he’d had a stroke):

Dear Sir, It hath pleased almighty God this morning to deprive me of the powers of speech; and, as I do not know that it may be his farther good pleasure to deprive me soon of my senses, I request you will, on the receipt of this note, come to me, and act for me, as the exigencies of my case may require. (From Oliver Sacks, The Mind’s Eye.)

(c.f. oh I don’t know, the entirety of Twitter.)