60 SAMUEL JOHNSON
luminous, but the first sunshine melted it to nothing.
THERE are perhaps very few conditions more to be pitied than that of an active and elevated mind, labouring under the weight of a distem- pered body. The time of such a man is always spent in forming schemes, which a change of wind hinders him from executing, his powers fume away in projects and in hope, and the day of action never arrives. He lies down de- lighted with the thoughts of to-morrow, pleases his ambition with the fame he shall acquire, or his benevolence with the good he shall confer. But in the night the skies are overcast, the temper of the air is changed, he wakes in languor, impatience and distraction, and has no longer any wish but for ease, nor any attention but to misery. It may be said that disease generally begins that equality which death completes ; the distinctions which set one man so much above another are very little perceived in the gloom of a sick chamber, where it will be vain to expect entertain- ment from the gay, or instruction from the wise ; where all human glory is obliterated, the wit is clouded, the reasoner perplexed, and the hero subdued; where the highest and brightest of mortal beings finds nothing left him but the consciousness of innocence.