Boswell's Life of Johnson: Life (v.l, 1709-1765; v.2 1765-1776; v.3, 1776-1780; v.4, 1780-1784)

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1887 - Authors, English

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 344 - The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
Page 35 - When asked by another friend, at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, whether he made any reply to this high compliment, he answered, " No, Sir. When the king had said it, it was to be so. It was not for me to bandy civilities with my sovereign.
Page 366 - It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter,* that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
Page 5 - The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle.
Page 166 - Goldsmith's Life of Parnell2 is poor ; not that it is poorly written, but that he had poor materials ; for nobody can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.
Page 319 - I wondered to hear him say of " Gulliver's Travels," " When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest.
Page 86 - Shakespeare it is commonly a species. It is from this wide extension of design that so much instruction is derived. It is this which fills the plays of Shakespeare with practical axioms and domestic wisdom. It was said of Euripides that every verse was a precept; and it may be said of Shakespeare that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence.
Page 42 - Prologue to his play, with the hopes of which he had been flattered; but it was strongly suspected that he was fretting with chagrin and envy at the singular honour Dr. Johnson had lately enjoyed. At length, the frankness and simplicity of his natural character prevailed. He sprung from the...
Page 327 - He attacked Gray, calling him " a dull fellow." BOSWELL : " I understand he was reserved, and might appear dull in company ; but surely he was not dull in poetry." JOHNSON : " Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull every where.' He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him GREAT. He was a mechanical poet.
Page 121 - Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, he said, was the only book that ever took him out of bed two hours sooner than he wished to rise.

Bibliographic information