Samuel Johnson: Selected Writings

Some 300 years after his birth in 1709, Samuel Johnson is remembered for having had a very successful biographer and for being eminently quotable. He of course planned the biographical part by giving his young friend James Boswell access to so much of his life. He would probably have less pleasure about being remembered mainly by quotes on the op-ed pages of our newspapers. In his preface to the works of Shakespeare, Johnson complains that one who tries to recommend Shake speare by means of select quotations will succeed like the “pendant in Hierocles, who when he offered his house to sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen.” So there is another quotation.

 

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