Macaulay's Life of Samuel Johnson: With a Selection from His Essay on Johnson

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Ginn and Company, 1904 - 94 pages

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Page 84 - Seven years, my Lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain and have brought it at last to the verge of publication without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement...
Page 72 - When he talked, he clothed his wit and his sense in forcible and natural expressions. As soon as he took his pen in his hand to write for the public, his style became systematically vicious. All his books are written in a learned language, in a language which nobody hears from his mother or his nurse, in a language in which nobody ever quarrels, or drives bargains, or makes love, in a language in which nobody ever thinks.
Page 45 - Many of the greatest men that ever lived have written biography. Boswell was one of the smallest men that ever lived ; and he has beaten them all.
Page 65 - Sir, that is all visionary. I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual. Sir, the danger of the abuse of power is nothing to a private man. What Frenchman is prevented passing his life as he pleases? ' SIR ADAM : ' But, sir, in the British constitution it is surely of importance to keep up a spirit in the people, so as to preserve a balance against the crown.
Page 83 - An author who has enlarged the knowledge of human nature, and taught the passions to move at the command of virtue;' and Numbers 44 and 100, by Mrs.
Page 8 - Hervey," said the old philosopher many years later, " was a vicious man ; but he was very kind to me. If you call a dog Hervey, I shall love him.
Page 84 - Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison...
Page 85 - In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not be forgotten that much likewise is performed; and though no book was ever spared out of tenderness to the author, and the world is little solicitous to know whence...
Page 75 - Gibbon tapping his snuff-box and Sir Joshua with his trumpet in his ear. In the foreground is that strange figure which is as familiar to us as the figures of those among whom we have been brought up, the gigantic body, the huge massy face, seamed with the scars of disease, the brown coat, the black worsted stockings, the grey wig with the scorched foretop, the dirty hands, the nails bitten and pared to the quick.
Page 47 - But these men attained literary eminence in spite of their weaknesses. Boswell attained it by. reason of his weaknesses. If he had not been a great fool, he would never have been a great writer.

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