Dr. Johnson's table-talk: aphorisms [&c.] selected and arranged from mr. Boswell's life of Johnson, Volume 2

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Page 50 - Sir, the life of a parson, of a conscientious clergyman, is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have Chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls. No, Sir, I do not envy a clergyman's life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life.
Page 59 - Sir, it is owing to their expressing themselves in a plain and familiar manner, which is the only way to do good to the common people, and which clergymen of genius and learning ought to do from a principle of duty, when it is suited to their congregations ; a practice for which they will be praised by men of sense.
Page 143 - The subject having been introduced by Dr Fordyce, Dr Blair, relying on the internal evidence of their antiquity, asked Dr Johnson whether he thought any man of a modern age could have written such poems ? Johnson replied, "Yes, Sir, many men, many women, and many children.
Page 216 - I have not read Hume; but, doubtless, Goldsmith's History is better than the verbiage of Robertson, or the foppery of Dalrymple." BOSWELL. " Will you not admit the superiority of Robertson, in whose History we find such penetration such painting? " JOHNSON. " Sir, you must consider how that penetration and that painting are employed. It is not history, it is imagination. He who describes what he never saw, draws from fancy. Robertson paints minds as Sir Joshua paints faces in a history-piece:...
Page 194 - JOHNSON, (with a disdainful look,) ' Why, on dunces. It was worth while being a dunce then. Ah, Sir, hadst thou lived in those days ! It is not worth while being a dunce now, when there are no wits.
Page 216 - ... be buried under his own ornaments. Goldsmith tells you shortly all you want to know ; Robertson detains you a great deal too long. No man will read Robertson's cumbrous detail a second time ; but Goldsmith's plain narrative will please again and again. I would say to Robertson what an old tutor of a college said to one of his pupils, "Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Page 202 - The first time I was in company with Foote was at Fitzherbert's. Having no good opinion of the fellow, I was resolved not to be pleased; and it is very difficult to please a man against his will. I went on eating my dinner pretty sullenly, affecting not to mind him ; but the dog was so very comical, that I was obliged to lay down my knife and fork, 'throw myself back upon my chair, and fairly laugh it out. No, Sir, he was irresistible.
Page 180 - He used frequently to observe that men might be very eminent in a profession, without our perceiving any particular power of mind in them in conversation. ' It seems strange,' said he, ' that a man should see so far to the right, who sees so short a way to the left. Burke is the only man whose common conversation corresponds with the general fame which he has in the world. Take up whatever topic you please, he is ready to meet you.
Page 11 - A physician, who has practised long in a great city, may be excused if he retires to a small town, and takes less practice. Now, Sir, the good I can do by my conversation bears the same proportion to the good I can do by my writings, that the practice of a physician, retired to a small town, does to his practice in a great city.
Page 200 - He has a singular talent of exhibiting character." JOHNSON. " Sir, it is not a talent ; it is a vice ; it is what others abstain from. It is not comedy, which exhibits the character of a species, as that of a miser gathered from many misers ; it is farce which exhibits individuals.

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