The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL. D.

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Página 386 - If the Biographer writes from personal Knowledge, and makes haste to gratify the publick Curiosity, there is Danger lest his Interest, his Fear, his Gratitude, or his Tenderness, overpower his Fidelity, and tempt him to conceal, if not to invent. There are many who think it an Act of Piety to hide the Faults or Failings of their Friends, even when they can no longer suffer by their Detection; we therefore see whole Ranks of Characters adorned with uniform Panegyrick, and not to be known from one...
Página 386 - If a life be delayed till interest and envy are at an end, we may hope for impartiality, but must expect little intelligence; for the incidents which give excellence to biography are of a volatile and evanescent kind, such as soon escape the memory, and are rarely transmitted by tradition.
Página 416 - Here the heart softens, and vigilance subsides; we are then willing to inquire whether another advance cannot be made, and whether we may not...
Página 21 - Why this wild strain of imagination found reception so long in polite and learned ages, it is not easy to conceive, but we cannot wonder that while readers could be procured, the authors were willing to continue it...
Página 94 - A transition from an author's book to his conversation, is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of...
Página 284 - The most engaging charms of youth and beauty appeared in all her form ; effulgent glories sparkled in her eyes, and their awful splendours were softened by the gentlest looks of compassion and peace.
Página 381 - Our passions are therefore more strongly moved, in proportion as we can more readily adopt the pains or pleasure proposed to our minds, by recognising them as once our own, or considering them as naturally incident to our state of life.
Página 21 - The task of our present writers is very different; it requires, together with that learning which is to be gained from books, that experience which can never be attained by solitary diligence, but must arise from general converse, and accurate observation of the living world.
Página 14 - The task of an author is, either to teach what is not known, or to recommend known truths, by his manner of adorning them; either to let new light in upon the mind, and open new scenes to the prospect, or to vary the dress and situation of common objects, so as to give them fresh grace and more powerful attractions...

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