Life and Writings of Samuel Johnson ...

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Page 52 - When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address ; and could not forbear to wish that I might boast myself Le vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre...
Page 52 - Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation, My Lord, Your Lordship's most humble Most obedient servant, SAM. JOHNSON.
Page 41 - ... devout prayer to that eternal Spirit who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases...
Page 51 - Dictionary was written with little assistance of the learned, and without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of retirement, or under the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow.
Page 77 - Ay, but to die, and go we know not where ; To lie in cold obstruction and to rot ; This sensible warm motion to become 120 A kneaded clod ; and the delighted spirit To bathe in fiery floods...
Page 34 - Johnson: one, in particular, praised his impartiality ; observing, that he dealt out reason and eloquence, with an equal hand to both parties. " That is not quite true," said Johnson ; " I saved appearances tolerably well; but I took care that the WHIG DOGS should not have the best of it.
Page 200 - If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pick axe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion ; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled and oceans bounded by the slender force of human beings.
Page 264 - There are many who think it an act of piety to hide the faults or failings of their friends, even when they can no longer suffer by their detection ; we therefore see whole ranks of characters adorned with uniform panegyrick, and not to be known from one another but by extrinsick and casual circumstances. ' Let me remember, (says Hale) when I find myself inclined to pity a criminal, that there is likewise a. pity due to the country.
Page 260 - All joy or sorrow for the happiness or calamities of others is produced by an act of the imagination, that realizes the event however fictitious, or approximates it however remote, by placing us, for a time, in the condition of him whose fortune we contemplate; so that we feel, while the deception lasts, whatever motions would be excited by the same good or evil happening to ourselves.
Page 261 - I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful.

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