Selections from the Works of Samuel Johnson

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H. Holt, 1909 - 479 pages

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Page 26 - 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, or one smile of favor. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.
Page 17 - While ladies interpose, and slaves debate. But did not Chance at length her error mend? Did no subverted empire mark his end? Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound? Or hostile millions press him to the ground? His fall was destined to a barren strand, A petty fortress, and a dubious hand; He left the name, at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
Page 27 - The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it ; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it ; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Page 396 - ALMIGHTY God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men ; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise ; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found ; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Page 27 - 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 ? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary and cannot impart it; till I am known and do not want it.
Page 16 - On what foundation stands the warrior's pride? How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide; A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, No dangers fright him, and no labours tire...
Page 434 - I have laboured to refine our language to grammatical purity, and to clear it from colloquial barbarisms, licentious idioms, and irregular combinations. Something, perhaps, I have added to the elegance of its construction, and something to the harmony of its cadence.
Page 471 - Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel by divine command With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast ; And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
Page 26 - I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could, and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

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