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.)