fore how much has been taken from you, and how little help can be had from consolation. He that outlives a wife whom he has long loved, sees himself disjoined from the only mind that has the same hopes, and fears, and interest ; from the only companion with whom he has shared much good or evil; and with whom he could set his mind at liberty, to re- trace the past or anticipate the future. The continuity of being is lacerated; the settled course of sentiment and action is stopped ; and life stands suspended and motionless, till it is driven by external causes into a new channel. But the time of suspense is dreadful.
Our first recourse, in this distressed soli- tude, is, perhaps for want of habitual piety, to a gloomy acquiescence in necessity. Of two mortal beings, one must lose the other ; but surely there is a higher and better comfort to be drawn from the consideration of that Pro- vidence which watches over all, and a belief that the living and the dead are equally in the hands of God, who will reunite those whom he has separated ; or who sees that it is best not to reunite. I am, dear Sir,
Your most affectionate
and most humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON.
January zotti, 1780.