The Works of Samuel Johnson

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Page 21 - Venus, take my votive glass, Since I am not what I was , What from this day I shall be, Venus let me never see.
Page 364 - Such is the emptiness of human enjoyment, that we are always impatient of the present. Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust; and the malicious remark of the Greek epigrammatist on marriage may be applied to every other course of life, that its two days of happiness are the first and the last.1 Few moments are more pleasing than those in which the mind is concerting measures for a new undertaking.
Page 156 - You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry " Hold, hold !
Page 20 - And, when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer died three thousand years ago. Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
Page 252 - ... has nothing nobler in view than the approbation of men ; of beings whose superiority we are under no obligation to acknowledge, and who, when we have courted them with the utmost assiduity, can confer no valuable or permanent reward ; of beings who ignorantly judge of what they do not understand, or partially determine what they never have examined ; and whose sentence is, therefore, of no weight till it has received the ratification of our own conscience.
Page 59 - Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last ; and perhaps always predominates in proportion to the strength of the contemplative faculties.
Page 101 - Their manners noted, and their states survey'd: On stormy seas unnumber'd toils he bore, Safe with his friends to gain his natal shore : Vain toils ! their impious folly dar'd to prey On herds devoted to the god of day : The god vindictive doom'd them never more (Ah ! men unblest) to touch that natal shore.
Page 194 - ... not because the true principles of action are not known, but because, for a time, they are not remembered; and he may, therefore, be justly. numbered among the benefactors of mankind, who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind.
Page 85 - Every animal body, according to the methodick physicians, is, by the predominance of some exuberant quality, continually declining towards disease and death, which must be obviated by a seasonable reduction of the peccant humour to the just equipoise which health requires. In the same manner the studies of mankind, all at least which...
Page 301 - Wit, you know, is the unexpected copulation of ideas, the discovery of some occult relation between images in appearance remote from each other; an effusion of wit, therefore, presupposes an accumulation of knowledge ; a memory stored with notions, which the imagination may cull out to compose new assemblages.

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