Death of Dr. Johnson

Our poor Doctor Johnson had suffered much from fatigue and anxiety during those days of terror; he ate and slept but little; and on the 26th, coming into Mary and Anne Doyle's, he declared his firm belief that he should fall by one party or the other, adding he did not care how soon. They wanted him to lie down and get a little rest, but his agitated mind would not permit him to take any. Next morning he was made prisoner, not endeavouring to conceal himself. I saw him walking in his yeomanry dress with a crowd of soldiers, and thought he was in friendship with them. I did not know that they pressed the ends of their muskets on his feet as he walked, and, by thus tormenting him, showed how little mercy he had to expect from them. The crowd stopped before Mary and Anne Doyle's shop; the tumult was loud; I believe they called it a court martial. An officer asked my husband had the doctor been at the battle of Narraghmore. He assured him he had not. Charles Coote stood by him, and begged to have him taken to the colonel. What his friends said was disregarded. Some young men, prisoners, passed by; Doctor Johnson appealed to them, but they passed on in silence. He was alone and unarmed, and I believe had never raised his hand to injure any one. The dragoons hacked him with their swords. Captain Sandys, who afterwards lost his life at Vinegar Hill, took the doctor's part in this business. So many swords and bayonets, and at length a musket, could not be long in taking the life of an unarmed man.

A short time before the end, a soldier came into our parlour, and, with a kind of bitter smile, told me they were going to hang the doctor. I said I hope not, and went up to my children, trembling. One of our servants entered the room, and said the doctor was shot. I started up and contradicted her; just then the trumpet sounded a retreat. The window near my bedside had for some time caused me a dread which I could not account for, save by having heard of persons being shot through windows. But to this window I now went mechanically, and saw stretched before it, lying on his back, the friend I had known from childhood-my neighbour, my physician.

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