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Sir, he [Bolingbroke] was a scoundrel and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to draw the trigger at his death.
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. ä. Chap. i. 1754. Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help?
Chap. ii. 1755. I am glad that he thanks God for anything. Ibid.
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.
Ibid. Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
Chap. ii. 1759. Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.?
Chap. t. 1763. The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.
Ibid. If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.
Ibid. Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.
1 I do not find that the age or country makes the least difference ; no, nor the language the actor spoke, nor the religion which they professed, whether Arab in the desert, or Frenchman in the Academy. I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world were of one religion of well-doing and daring. — EMERSON: The Preacher. Lectures and Biographical Sketches, p. 215.
A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. ij. Chap. vi. 1763. Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an access of stupidity, sir, is not in Nature.
Chap. ix. Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.
bid, I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.
This was a good dinner enough, to be sure, but it was not a dinner to ask a man to. A very unclubable man.
Ibid. 1764. I do not know, sir, that the fellow is an infidel; but if
an infidel, he is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.
Vol. iii. Chap. iii. 1769. matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
Chap. iv. That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.?
Chap. v. 1770. am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.
Chap, viii. 1772. A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden. Much
may be made of a Scotchman if he be caught young
A man may write at any time if he will set himself doggedly to it.
Vol. iv. Chap. ii. 1773.
1 Every investigation which is guided by principles of nature fixes its ultimate aim entirely on gratifying the stomach. - ATHEN ÆUS: Book vii.
2 Mr. Kremlin was distinguished for ignorance ; for he had only one idea. and that was wrong. – DISRAELI : Subil, book iv. chap. 5.
Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. ir. Chap. ii. 1773. Was ever poet so trusted before ?
Vol. r. Chap. vi. 1774. Attack is the reaction. I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.
A man will turn over half a library to make one book.
Chap, riii. 1775. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Chap. ir. Hell is paved with good intentions.
Ibid. Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
Ibid. I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night; and then the nap takes me.
Vol. vi. Chap... 1775. In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath. Ibid.
There is now less flogging in our great schools than formerly, — but then less is learned there; so that what the boys get at one end they lose at the other. Ibid.
There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.8
Chap. i. 1776.
1 See Herbert, page 205.
Do not be troubled by Saint Bernard's saying that hell is full of good intentions and wills. — FRANCIS DE SALES: Spiritual Letters. Letter zii. (Translated by the author of " A Dominican Artist.") 1605.
2 Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis, ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est (To know where you can find anything, that in short is the largest part of learning). - ANONYMOUS.
8 Whoe'er has travellid life's dull round,
Where'er his stages may have been,
SHENSTONE : Written on a Window of an Inn.
No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. vi. Chap. iii. 1776. Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
Chap. ic. 1776.
Chap. ix. 1777.
Ibid. When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Ibid. He was so generally civil that nobody thanked him
Ibid. Goldsmith, however, was a man who whatever he Wrote, did it better than any other man could do.
Vol. vii. Chap. iii. 1778. Johnson had said that he could repeat a complete chapter of “The Natural History of Iceland,” from the Danish
f Horrebow, the whole of which was exactly (Ch. lxxii. Concerning snakes) thus: “There are no snakes to be met with throughout the whole island.” 1 Chap. iv, 1778.
As the Spanish proverb says, “He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him," so it is in travelling, must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home kno wledge.
Chap. v. 1778. The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small. Chap. ni. 1778.
I remember a passage in Goldsmith's “ Vicar of Wakefield,” which he was afterwards fool enough to expunge: "I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing."
— a man
1 Chapter xlii. is still shorter : “There are no owls of any kind in the whole island.”
There was another fine passage too which he struck out: “When I was a young man, being anxious to distinguish myself, I was perpetually starting new propositions. But I soon gave this over; for I found that generally what was new was false."
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. vii. Chap. ciii. 1779 Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men;
but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
Ibid, A Frenchman must be always talking, whether he knows anything of the matter or not; an Englishman is content to say nothing when he has nothing to say.
Chap. I. Of Dr. Goldsmith he said, “No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.”
Ibid. The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.
Ibid. The potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice. 1
Vol. rüü. Chap. ii. Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
Chap. ii. 1781. My friend was of opinion that when a man of rank appeared in that character (as an author], he deserved to have his merits handsomely allowed.?
Ibid. I never have sought the world; the world was not to seek me.:
He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Chap. t. 1783.
il am rich beyond the dreams of avarice. EDWARD MOORE: The Gamester, act ii. sc. 2. 1753.
2 Usually quoted as “When a nobleman writes a book, he ought to be encouraged.”
8 I have not loved the world, nor the world me. – Byron : Childe Harold, canto iii. stanza 113.
1 See Shakespeare, page 88.