The Life of Samuel Johnson

The Life of Samuel Johnson

Language: English

Pages: 631

ISBN: B0007E0CF2

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Life Of Samuel Johnson, The, by Boswell, James

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JOHNSON. Sir Adam expressed some apprehension that the Pantheon would encourage luxury. ‘Sir, (said Johnson,) I am a great friend to publick amusements; for they keep people from vice. You now (addressing himself to me,) would have been with a wench, had you not been here. – O! I forgot you were married.’ Sir Adam suggested, that luxury corrupts a people, and destroys the spirit of liberty. JOHNSON. ‘Sir, that is all visionary. I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government

without an invitation. JOHNSON. ‘No, Sir; he is not to go when he is not invited. They may be invited on purpose to abuse him’ (smiling). As a curious instance how little a man knows, or wishes to know, his own character in the world, or, rather, as a convincing proof that Johnson’s roughness was only external, and did not proceed from his heart, I insert the following dialogue. JOHNSON. ‘It is wonderful, Sir, how rare a quality good humour is in life. We meet with very few good humoured men.’ I

Bow to an Arch-Bishop, as such a studied elaboration of homage, such an extension of limb, such a flexion of body, as have seldom or ever been equalled. I cannot help mentioning with much regret, that by my own negligence I lost an opportunity of having the history of my family from its founder Thomas Boswell, in 1504, recorded and illustrated by Johnson’s pen. Such was his goodness to me, that when I presumed to solicit him for so great a favour, he was pleased to say, ‘Let me have all the

prompt, active, and generous, in encouraging merit. I have heard Johnson gratefully acknowledge, in his presence, the kind and effectual support which he gave to his London, though unacquainted with its authour. Pope, who then filled the poetical throne without a rival, it may reasonably be presumed, must have been particularly struck by the sudden appearance of such a poet; and, to his credit, let it be remembered, that his feelings and conduct on the occasion were candid and liberal. He

import. Danger of sinking into negligence of reputation. Lest the fear of disgrace destroy activity. ‘Confidence in himself. Long tract of life before him. – No thought of sickness. – Embarrassment of affairs. – Distraction of family. Publick calamities. – No sense of the prevalence of bad habits. – Negligent of time – ready to undertake – careless to pursue – all changed by time. ‘Confident of others – unsuspecting as unexperienced – imagining himself secure against neglect, never imagines

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