Later Johnson


Samuel Johnson. Translation of Horace, Book IV, Ode 7. 1784. Manuscript. MS Hyde 50 (41)

As Johnson did when a student in his teens, he turned to the translation of Horace's Odes in the last months of his life. The ode, with its theme of mortality, must have seemed especially relevant to Johnson as he neared the end of his final visit to his Lichfield birthplace in November 1784.  By then he probably knew the answer to the question posed in the final couplet:
Who knows if Jove, who counts our score
Will toss us in a morning more?