The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 3

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Page 303 - YE who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope ; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow ; attend to the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia.
Page 309 - With observations like these the prince amused himself as he returned, uttering them with a plaintive voice yet with a look that discovered him to feel some complacence in his own perspicacity, and to receive some solace of the miseries of life from consciousness of the delicacy with which he felt and the eloquence with which he bewailed them.
Page 426 - Praise, said the sage, with a sigh, is to an old man an empty sound. I have neither mother to be delighted with the reputation of her son, nor wife to partake the honours of her husband.
Page 302 - Johnson wrote it, that with the profits he might defray the expense of his mother's funeral, and pay some little debts which she had left. He told Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he composed it in the evenings of one week ; sent it to the press in portions as it was written, and had never since read it orer. 1 Mr. Strahan, Mr. Johnston, and Mr. Dodsley, purchased it for a hundred pounds ; but afterwards paid him twentyfive pounds more, when it came to a second edition.
Page 305 - Such was the appearance of security and delight which this retirement afforded that they to whom it was new always desired that it might be perpetual, and, as those on whom the iron gate had once closed were never suffered to return, the effect of longer experience could not be known.
Page 304 - The sides of the mountains were covered with trees, the banks of the brooks were diversified with flowers ; every blast shook spices from the rocks, and every month dropped fruits upon the ground.
Page 332 - His character requires that he estimate the happiness and misery of every condition, observe the power of all the passions in all their combinations, and trace the changes of the human mind as they are modified by various institutions, and accidental influences of climate or custom, from the sprightliness of infancy to the despondence of decrepitude.
Page 422 - There is no man whose imagination does not sometimes predominate over his reason, who can regulate his attention wholly by his will, and whose ideas will come and go at his command. No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.
Page 318 - He that can swim needs not despair to fly ; to swim is to fly in a grosser fluid, and to fly is to swim in a subtler. We are only to proportion our power of resistance to the different density of matter through which we are to pass.
Page 319 - You, sir, whose curiosity is so extensive, will easily conceive with what pleasure a philosopher, furnished with wings and hovering in the sky, would see the earth and all its inhabitants rolling beneath him and presenting to him successively, by its diurnal motion, all the countries within the same parallel.

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