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

Page 376

Samuel Johnson. (1709–1784) (continued)
    Hawkesworth said of Johnson, “You have a memory that would convict any author of plagiarism in any court of literature in the world.”
          Johnsoniana. Kearsley. 600.
    His conversation does not show the minute-hand, but he strikes the hour very correctly.
          Johnsoniana. Kearsley. 604.
    Hunting was the labour of the savages of North America, but the amusement of the gentlemen of England.
          Johnsoniana. Kearsley. 606.
    I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.
          Johnsoniana. Seward. 617.
    This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.
          Prayers and Meditations. Against inquisitive and perplexing Thoughts.
    Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
          Tour to the Hebrides. Sept. 20, 1773.
    A fellow that makes no figure in company, and has a mind as narrow as the neck of a vinegar-cruet.
          Tour to the Hebrides. Sept. 30, 1773.
    The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has with such spirit and decency charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience. 1
          Pitt’s Reply to Walpole. Speech, March 6, 1741.
    Towering in the confidence of twenty-one.
          Letter to Bennet Langton. Jan. 9, 1758.
    Gloomy calm of idle vacancy.
          Letter to Boswell. Dec. 8, 1763.
    Wharton quotes Johnson as saying of Dr. Campbell, “He is the richest author that ever grazed the common of literature.”
Note 1.
This is the composition of Johnson, founded on some note or statement of the actual speech. Johnson said, “That speech I wrote in a garret, in Exeter Street.” Boswell: Life of Johnson, 1741. [back]