Young Boswell: Chapters on James Boswell, the Biographer, Based Largely on New Material

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922 - Authors, Scottish - 266 pages
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Page 181 - And this is in the night : — Most glorious night ! Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be A sharer in thy fierce and far delight, — A portion of the tempest and of thee...
Page 198 - When I first entered Ranelagh, it gave an expansion and gay sensation to my mind, such as I never experienced any where else. But, as Xerxes wept when he viewed his immense army, and considered that not one of that great multitude would be alive a hundred years afterwards, so it went to my heart to consider that there was not one in all that brilliant circle, that was not afraid to go home and think; but that the thoughts of each individual there, would be distressing when alone.
Page 222 - The Life of Johnson is assuredly a great, a very great work. Homer is not more decidedly the first of heroic poets, Shakspeare is not more decidedly the first of dramatists, Demosthenes is not more decidedly the first of orators, than Boswell is the first of biographers. He has no second. He has distanced all his competitors so decidedly that it is not worthwhile to place them. Eclipse is first, and the rest nowhere.
Page 180 - ... dejection, so that I was ready to shed tears; and of daring resolution, so that I was inclined to rush into the thickest part of the battle. " Sir (said he), I should never hear it, if it made me such a fool.
Page 111 - to my country, and he fetched me some letter of recommending him; but I was of the belief he might be an imposter, and I supposed, in my minte, he was an espy; for I look away from him, and in a moment I look to him again, and I behold his tablets. Oh ! he was to the work of writing down all I say! Indeed I was angry.
Page 227 - You cannot imagine what labour, what perplexity, what vexation I have endured in arranging a prodigious multiplicity of materials, in supplying omissions, in searching for papers, buried in different masses, and all this besides the exertion of composing and polishing : many a time have I thought of giving it up.
Page 226 - Johnson with its concomitant circumstances, was a peculiar undertaking, attended with much anxiety and labour, and that the conversations of people in general are by no means of that nature as to bear being registered and that the task of doing it would be exceedingly irksome to me.
Page 50 - Now you know my rank. I am twenty-four years old. Now you know my age. Sixteen months ago I left Great Britain a completely insular being, knowing hardly a word of French. I have been in Holland and in Germany, but not yet in France. You will therefore excuse my handling of the language. I am travelling with a genuine desire to improve myself. I have come here in the hope of seeing you. I have heard, Sir, that you are very diff1cult, that you have refused the visits of several people of the first...
Page 12 - ... most discreet, affable man as ever I met with, and has really a great deal of learning, and a choice collection of books. He is indeed an extraordinary man, — few such people are to be met with nowadays.
Page 110 - Sir, I am upon my travels, and have lately visited Rome. I am come from seeing the ruins of one brave and free people ; I now see the rise of another." He received my compliment very graciously; but observed that the Corsicans had no chance of being like the Romans, a great conquering nation, who should extend its empire over half the globe. Their situation, and the modern political systems, rendered this impossible. " But," said he, " Corsica may be a very happy country.

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