Boswell's correspondence with ... Andrew Erskine, and his Journal of a tour to Corsica, ed. with intr. and notes by G.B. Hill

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1879
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Page 25 - I HAVE observed, that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author.
Page 159 - Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate : let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Page 61 - Johnson, for sport perhaps, or from the spirit of contradiction, eagerly maintained that Derrick had merit as a writer. Mr. Morgann argued with him directly, in vain. At length he had recourse to this device. " Pray, sir (said he), whether do you reckon Derrick or Smart the best poet ?" Johnson at once felt himself roused; and answered, " Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.
Page 179 - My good friends insisted also to have an English song from me. I endeavoured to please them in this too, and was very lucky in that which occurred to me. I sung them 'Hearts of oak are our ships,
Page 69 - Passion, which are always the same, the first writers took possession of the most striking objects for description, and the most probable occurrences for fiction, and left nothing to those that followed them, but transcription of the same events, and new combinations of the same images.
Page 191 - Why, sir, if the fellow does not think as he speaks, he is lying : and I see not what honour he can propose to himself from having the character of a liar. But 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.
Page 204 - I took leave of Paoli with regret and agitation, not without some hopes of seeing him again. From having known intimately so exalted a character, my sentiments of human nature were raised, while, by a sort of contagion, I felt an honest ardour to distinguish myself, and be useful, as far as my situation and abilities would allow; and I was, for the rest of my life, set free from a slavish timidity in the presence of great men, for where shall I find a man greater than Paoli ? When I set out from...
Page 125 - But, Sir, how can you do this in three years ? JOHNSON. Sir, I have no doubt that I can do it in three years. ADAMS. But the French Academy, which consists of forty members, took forty years to compile their Dictionary.
Page 187 - ... occurrences. Thus Sallust, the great master of nature, has not forgot, in his account of Catiline, to remark that his walk was now quick, and again slow, as an indication of a mind revolving something with violent commotion.
Page 186 - I had often enough formed the idea of a man continually such as I could conceive in my best moments. But this idea appeared like the ideas we are taught in the schools to form of things which may exist, but do not ; of seas of milk, and ships of amber. But I saw my highest idea realised in Paoli. It was impossible for me, speculate as I pleased, to have a little opinion of human nature in him.

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