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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

4083 Samuel Johnson 1709-1784 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
QUOTATION:My friend was of opinion that when a man of rank appeared in that character [as an author], he deserved to have his merits handsomely allowed. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Life of Johnson (Boswell). 2 Vol. viii. Chap. iii. 1781.
Note 1.
Usually quoted as “When a nobleman writes a book, he ought to be encouraged.” [back]
Note 2.
From the London edition, 10 volumes, 1835.

Dr. Johnson, it is said, when he first heard of Boswell’s intention to write a life of him, announced, with decision enough, that if he thought Boswell really meant to write his life he would prevent it by taking Boswell’s!Thomas Carlyle: Miscellanies, Jean Paul Frederic Richter. [back]