Quotations From JAMES BOSWELL
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O charitable philosopher, I beg you to help me. My mind is weak but my soul is strong. Kindle that soul, and the sacred fire shall never be extinguished.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Trans. from French. James Boswell: The Earlier Years, "Sketch of the Early Life of James Boswell," p. 6, Frederick A. Pottle, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. (1966). end of his appeal to Rousseau, written Dec. 5, 1764.
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Hume, and other skeptical innovators, are vain men, and will gratify themselves at any expense. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity; so they have betaken themselves to errour. Truth, Sir, is a cow that will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish writer. Johnson, in Life of Johnson.
I make it a kind of pious rule to go to every funeral to which I am invited, both as I wish to pay a proper respect to the dead, unless their characters have been bad, and as I would wish to have the funeral of my own near relations or of myself well attended.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Laird of Auchinleck, journal, February 1, 1779, p. 46, McGraw-Hill (1977).
A good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. (Originally published 1791). Life of Johnson, June 1784, p. 1309, Oxford University Press (1980). Contradicting Samuel Johnson, who had "a general aversion to a pun," ibid.
I argued that the chastity of women was of much more consequence than that of men, as the property and rights of families depend upon it.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell in Extremes, journal, April 6, 1776, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1970).
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I then went to the Parade. I saw the King. It was a glorious sight.... As a loadstone moves needles, or a storm bows the lofty oaks, did Frederick the Great make the Prussian officers submissive bend as he walked majestic in the midst of them.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, journal, July 13, 1764, p. 24, McGraw-Hill (1953).
Yesterday morning had gone to bed very early, and had done it once: thirteen in all. Was really affectionate to her.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell on the Grand Tour: Italy, Corsica, and France, journal, February 12, 1766, p. 279, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1955). Sole evidence that Boswell had an affair with Thérèse Levasseur, Rousseau's mistress, on his return journey from France.
We must take our friends as they are.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell The Great Biographer, journal, February 25, 1791, p. 18, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1989).
For my own part I think no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed: and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish lawyer, biographer. Life of Dr Johnson, entry for June 19, 1784 (1791).
My wife, who does not like journalizing, said it was leaving myself embowelled to posteritya good strong figure. But I think it is rather leaving myself embalmed. It is certainly preserving myself.James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Ominous Years, November 3, 1775, pp. 174-75, McGraw-Hill (1963).
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