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James Boswell (1740 – 1795)


Lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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James Boswell
Johnson is dead. Let us go to the next best there is nobody; no man can be said to put you in mind of Johnson.
Boswell quotes
I jumped up on the benches, roared out, "Damn you, you rascals!", hissed and was in the greatest rage. [...] I hated the English; I wished from my soul that the Union was broke and that we might give them another battle of Bannockburn.
Boswell
What can he mean by coming among us? He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.




Boswell James quotes
He who has provoked the lash of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.
Boswell James
Sir, you have but two topicks, yourself and me. I am sick of both.
James Boswell quotes
When I called upon Dr. Johnson next morning, I found him highly satisfied with his colloquial prowess the preceding evening. "Well, (said he,) we had good talk." BOSWELL: "Yes, Sir, you tossed and gored several persons."
James Boswell
In every place, where there is any thing worthy of observation, there should be a short printed directory for strangers.
Boswell James quotes
Then, all censure of a man's self is oblique praise.
Boswell
The best good man, with the worst natur'd muse.
Boswell James
Boswell is pleasant and gay,
For frolic by nature designed;
He heedlessly rattles away
When company is to his mind.
James Boswell
'Sir,' said Mr Johnson, 'a lawyer has no business with the justice or injustice of the cause which he undertakes, unless his client asks his opinion, and then he is bound to give it honestly. The justice or injustice of the cause is to be decided by the judge.'




James Boswell quotes
I fancy mankind may come, in time, to write all aphoristically.
James Boswell
We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
Boswell quotes
I regretted I was not the head of a clan; however, though not possessed of such an hereditary advantage, I would always endeavour to make my tenants follow me.
Boswell James
My lord and Dr Johnson disputed a little, whether the savage or the London shopkeeper had the best existence; his lordship, as usual, preferring the savage.
Boswell James quotes
Influence must ever be in proportion to property; and it is right it should.
James Boswell
You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
James Boswell quotes
[...] for the Doctor observed, that no man takes upon himself small blemishes without supposing that great abilities are attributed to him; and that, in short, this affectation of candour or modesty was but another kind of indirect self-praise, and had its foundation in vanity.
James Boswell
Biographers, translators, editors, all, in short, who employ themselves in illustrating the lives or writings of others, are peculiarly exposed to the Lues Boswelliana, or disease of admiration.
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