Boswell's Life


James Boswell. Diary, February 6, 1785. Manuscript. MS Hyde 51 (10)

Less than two months after Johnson's death, Boswell recorded a dream about him in his diary:

Last night I dreamt that I was with my much respected Freind [sic] Dr. Johnson. I saw him distinctly sitting in a chair opposite to me in his usual dress ... He then said in a solemn tone "It is an awful thing to die" - I was fully sensible that he had died some time before; yet had not the sensation of horrour as if in the presence of a Ghost ... This dream made a deep & pleasing impression upon my mind. I this morning invoked him to pray for me if he heard me, and could be of influence ... God grant us a happy meeting.