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Boswell   /bˈɑzwɛl/   Listen
Boswell

noun
1.
Scottish author noted for his biography of Samuel Johnson (1740-1795).  Synonym: James Boswell.
2.
A devoted admirer and recorder of another's words and deeds.






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"Boswell" Quotes from Famous Books



... disproportionate? Among all races, the English has ever shown itself most keenly alive to the fear of making itself ridiculous; and among all, none has produced so many humorists, only one of them, indeed, so profound as Cervantes, yet all masters in their several ways. What English-speaking man, except Boswell, could have arrived at Weimar, as Goethe did, in that absurd Werthermontirung? And where, out of Germany, could he have found a reigning Grand Duke to put his whole court into the same sentimental livery of blue and yellow, leather ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... understood. It is proximity in time and place that makes it intolerable. A gossip next door may be a nuisance. A gossip in history may be delightful. No doubt if I had lived in Auchinleck in the days when Boswell lived at home, I would have thought him a nasty little "skike." But let him get to London and far off in the revolving years, and I ...
— Journeys to Bagdad • Charles S. Brooks

... Macdonald, of St. Catharines, stated that Sir Francis had declared in his speech at the opening of the Parliament, that he knew of the rebellion long before it occurred, and that he was the cause of it. Mr. Boswell, of Cobourg, admitted that Sir Francis had said he knew a good deal. But the Governor was very fond of a fine style; he liked rounded periods, or, as Lord Melbourne had expressed it, "epigrammic" flights, so well, that he could hardly make his pen write the ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... statesmen whom he encountered, not, remember, as a mere recorder but on terms of mutual benefit. Though he liked to draw their opinions, in both senses, they sought his wisdom and advice with equal assiduity. He was quite as much Johnson as he was Boswell, or rather, almost as much Socrates as he was Plato, for that is ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... they considered necessary for the comfort and convenience of themselves and their attendants, they gave up the project. So great, however, was the public enthusiasm on the subject of the expedition, that, according to Boswell, even Dr Johnson thought of applying for leave to accompany it, though, if he ever seriously entertained the wish, it ...
— Captain Cook - His Life, Voyages, and Discoveries • W.H.G. Kingston

... BOSWELL, dining one day with Dr. Johnson, asked him if he did not think that a good cook was more essential to the community than a good poet. "I don't suppose," said the doctor, "that there's a dog in the ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... go with thee. I mean to spend Saint Chrysostom with Mary Boswell and Lucy Cheyne, and their friends: and I promise thee we shall not have no sadness nor sedateness ...
— The King's Daughters • Emily Sarah Holt

... Says Boswell, "At least be well if you are not ill"; but the dear public is always ill. In our own country, with an apparently healthy pulse, it has drank the worth of a marble palace in sarsaparilla, and has built a hotel out of Brandreth's pills. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... cads could you lick at once, one off and the other on?" asked Mr. Fosbrooke of the Pet, with the air of Boswell when he wanted to draw out ...
— The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green • Cuthbert Bede

... exquisitely patient scholarship, an exquisitely sympathetic way of criticism. 'Walter Pater' would have signified no style, but an unslakable thirst for information, and a bustling human sympathy, and power of carrying things through. Or take two names often found in conjunction—Johnson and Boswell. Had the dear great oracle been named Boswell, and had the sitter-at-his-feet been named Johnson, would the two names seem to us less appropriate than they do? Should we suffer any greater loss ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... Johnson rises from trap-door P. S., and Ghost of BOSWELL from trap-door O. P. The latter bows respectfully to the House, and obsequiously to ...
— Rejected Addresses: or, The New Theatrum Poetarum • James and Horace Smith

... Highlands, but they were capable of highly refined and sensitive expressions of grief—they were the noblest savages of them all. For some readers the rumors of imposture served to dampen their initial enthusiasm, and such was the case with Hume, Walpole, and Boswell, but many of the admirers of the poems found ...
— Fragments Of Ancient Poetry • James MacPherson

... through the years, until Accepted Masons were in the majority. Noblemen, gentlemen, and scholars entered the order as Speculative Masons, and held office as such in the old Lodges, the first name recorded in actual minutes being John Boswell, who was present as a member of the Lodge of Edinburgh in 1600. Of the forty-nine names on the roll of the Lodge of Aberdeen in 1670, thirty-nine were Accepted Masons not in any way connected with the ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... came, and eight members of the committee were punctual in their attendance. Mr. Loggins, the solicitor, of Boswell-court, sent an excuse, and Mr. Samuel Briggs, the ditto of Furnival's Inn, sent his brother: much to his (the brother's) satisfaction, and greatly to the discomfiture of Mr. Percy Noakes. Between the Briggses and the Tauntons there existed a degree of implacable hatred, quite unprecedented. ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... Mr. Boswell,' said the old schoolmaster. 'I had no right to brag of my Greek to the gentleman, and he has ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... anecdote, of those golden days in the history of the Violin be received by the lovers of the instrument! The bare idea that these men were living in daily close converse is sufficient to awaken interest of a lively nature in the mind of a lover of Fiddles. Unhappily, however, no Boswell was at hand to dot down events, of small value when passing, but of great consequence to after-time. The want of that direct biographical information which is handed down to us from recorded personal knowledge leads to the opening of many a mouldy, worm-eaten, and half-forgotten parish register, ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... to an old Cambridgeshire family that had come down in the world, his father having dwindled into a London tailor. In temperament, however, he seems to me to have been more Scottish than the very Scottish Boswell. He led a double life with the same simplicity of heart. He was Scottish in the way in which he lived with one eye on the "lassies" and the other on "the meenister." He was notoriously respectable, notoriously hard-working, ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... expressed great indignation at the imposture of the Cock Lane ghost, and related, with much satisfaction, how he had assisted in detecting the cheat, and had published an account of it in the newspapers. Upon this subject I incautiously offended him, by pressing him with too many questions,' says Boswell,—questions which the good doctor was ...
— Cock Lane and Common-Sense • Andrew Lang

... ["When Lord Byron wrote this stanza, he had, no doubt, the following passage in Boswell's Johnson floating in his mind.... 'The grand object of all travelling is to see the shores of the Mediterranean. On those shores were the four great empires of the world—the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman' (Life of Johnson, 1876, p. 505)."—Note to ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... Sam so well, I think I'll try the second volume," returned Jo, hoping to propitiate him by accepting a second dose of Boswell's Johnson, as he had recommended ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... reflections on the government of various states, more likely to have engaged the attention of a Fleet-Street author, living in an atmosphere of books, than to have occupied the mind of a tramp anxious about his supper and his night's lodging. Boswell says he "disputed" his way through Europe. It is much more probable that he begged his way through Europe. The romantic version, which has been made the subject of many a charming picture, is that he was ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... disposition, and by the exceptional facilities which he enjoyed, to become the biographer of the other, and Dr. Eadie has approached his task with such a spirit of love, and with so genuine and well-founded an esteem of the man whose Boswell he aspired to be, that the biography will rank in some respects almost equal with that of Dr. Johnson. Some years later, Dr. Eadie published through the Messrs. Oliphant, of Edinburgh, a series of lectures on the Bible for the young, which met with a very large sale. He has also written and ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... Barnard aroused the nation to admiration by one plaintive lay. Allan Cunningham wrote the Scottish ballad in the peculiar rhythm and with the power of the older minstrels. Alike in mirth and tenderness, Sir Alexander Boswell was exquisitely happy. Tannahill gave forth strains of bewitching sweetness; Hogg, whose ballads abound with supernatural imagery, evinced in song the utmost pastoral simplicity; Motherwell was a master ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... was in London in his official capacity. Andrew Erskine, aged twenty-two, younger son of an impoverished Scots earl, was waiting in London till the regiment in which he held a lieutenant's commission should be "broke," following the Peace. James Boswell, heir to the considerable estate of Auchinleck in Ayrshire, also aged twenty-two, had come to London in the previous November in an attempt to secure a commission in the Foot Guards. Dempster, Erskine, ...
— Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira, Written by Mr. David Malloch (1763) • James Boswell, Andrew Erskine and George Dempster

... vanities are recognized by all in the character of Prospero. Mr. Boswell informs us, that he never forgave its pointed satire. On the same authority we are assured, that though Johnson so dearly loved to ridicule his pupil, yet he so habitually considered him as his own property, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... T. Boswell, his brother, and another miner, who had spent most of the summer on the river prospecting, and from ...
— Klondyke Nuggets - A Brief Description of the Great Gold Regions in the Northwest • Joseph Ladue

... and reverence, even as we have. We feel we must hand on our own great and beloved ones; we must preserve the evanescent personal fragrance, press the flower. And hence, again, portraits and memoirs, Boswell's "Johnson," or Renan's "Ma Soeur Henriette"; grotesque or lovely things, as the case may be, and always pathetic, which tell us that men have always admired and always loved; leaving us to explain, by substituting the image of our own idols, why in that case more specially ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... old disguster, Boswell. Bah! I have no patience with the toady! I suppose "my mind is not yet thoroughly impregnated with the Johnsonian ether," and that is the reason why I cannot appreciate him, or his work. I admire him for his patience and minuteness in compiling such trivial details. He must have been ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... encouragement, or one smile of favour." I am sorry to say, that Mr. Mason, even in the above Essay, discovers, in three instances, his animosity to our "Dictionary writer," for so he calls Dr. Johnson. Mr. Boswell, speaking of Johnson's preface, says, "We cannot contemplate without wonder, the vigorous and splendid thoughts which so highly distinguish that performance;" and on the Dictionary he observes, that "the world contemplated with wonder, ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... wonder that his fame should have saved his life, when once condemned and sentenced to death during the reign of terror. The guillotine was robbed of its intended victim, but the world gained a great painter. As Boswell transmitted his own name to posterity with his life of Johnson, so has David left his, with the magnificent paintings that are now suspended upon the walls of the palaces of the Louvre, the Tuileries, St. Cloud, Versailles, and even the ...
— Three Years in Europe - Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met • William Wells Brown

... York this morning. Received fifty thousand dollars from Uncle Darwent. We shall expect to meet you at the Hotel Boswell in ...
— Comrades of the Saddle - The Young Rough Riders of the Plains • Frank V. Webster

... his "Traditions of Edinburgh" (p. 191), gives an interesting account of the elegant Susanna, Countess of Eglintoun, who was in her eighty-fifth year when Johnson and Boswell visited her. She died in 1780, at the age of ninety-one, having preserved to the last her stately mien and fine complexion. She is said to have washed her face periodically with ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... Boswell was a rich man and had a good and growing business; and that Washington's work world be light and he would get forty dollars a month and be boarded and lodged in the General's family—which was as good as ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 1. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my inquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... Scandinavia and Germany after his death; T. Blanc's Et Bidrag til den Ibsenskte Digtnings Scenehistorie (1906); and, most of all, the invaluable Samliv med Ibsen (1906) of Johan Paulsen. This last-mentioned writer aspires, in measure, to be Ibsen's Boswell, and his book is a series of chapters reminiscent of the dramatist's talk and manners, chiefly during those central years of his life which he spent in Germany. It is a trivial, naive and rather thin production, but it has ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... where you are. I am lost without my Boswell. And this promises to be interesting. It would be a pity to ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... to be shaken hands with by George and Mary, when as a matter of fact we are, by our very nature, a collection of miscellaneous scandals——We must be. Bacon, Shakespear, Byron, Shelley—all the stars.... No, Johnson wasn't a star, he was a character by Boswell.... Oh! great things come out of us, no doubt, our arts are the vehicles of wonder and hope, the world is dead without these things we produce, but that's no reason why—why the mushroom-bed should follow the mushrooms into the soup, is it? Perfectly ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... work has not issued from the press for many years. It is in truth a complete Boswell sketch of the greatest diplomatist of the ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... was a waiter in one of the public-houses and chop-houses combined, of which there are so many in the Strand. He lived in a wretched alley which ran from St. Clement's Church to Boswell Court—I have forgotten its name—a dark crowded passage. He was a man of about sixty—invariably called John, without the addition of any surname. I knew him long before we opened our room, for I was in the habit of frequently visiting the chop-house in which ...
— Mark Rutherford's Deliverance • Mark Rutherford

... them to search the parish register of Lynn, in order that they might be able to twit a lady with having concealed her age. That truly chivalrous exploit was reserved for a bad writer(14) of our own time, whose spite she had provoked by not furnishing him with materials for a worthless edition of Boswell's "Life of Johnson," some sheets of which our readers have doubtless seen round ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... several of the 'Bridgewater Treatises,' Paley's 'Natural Theology,' 'Trench on Miracles,' several dozens of the best story books I could find to make sandwiches with the others, somebody's 'Travels in Iceland,' and somebody's 'Winter in Russia,' and 'Rasselas,' and 'Boswell's Johnson,' and I cannot remember others at this moment. Morris says I do not think anything dry, but go right through everything. Because I have the master to help me, and I did give 'Paradise Lost' ...
— Miss Prudence - A Story of Two Girls' Lives. • Jennie Maria (Drinkwater) Conklin

... good thing, similarly, to change one's mind. But the thing must be done very deliberately, and even with scientific precision, or a man may make himself perfectly ridiculous. Let me produce a pair of illustrations, one from Boswell, which is good; and one from the ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... settlement, the founding of towns as far west as Stamford and Greenwich had rendered acute the conflict of titles. There was no western limit to the English claims, and, as the colonists were perfectly willing to accept Sir William Boswell's advice to "crowd on, crowding the Dutch out of those places which they have occupied, without hostility or any act of violence," a collision was bound to come. The Dutch, who in their turn were not abating a jot of their claims, ...
— The Fathers of New England - A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths • Charles M. Andrews

... Cham of Literature," Dr. Samuel Johnson, resided for some time at No. 1, Inner Temple Lane. Indeed, it was while the doctor was living in the Temple that the world-famous "Literary Club" was founded. The faithful and receptive Boswell, too, as might be expected, lived within easy distance of the object of his veneration, at the foot of Inner Temple Lane. It was in 1763 that Boswell first made the acquaintance of the "Great Bear" and called on him in ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, Old Series, Vol. 36—New Series, Vol. 10, July 1885 • Various

... hundred years ago the whole kingdom was disturbed by the judicial proceedings which were taken with reference to the succession to the ancient honours of the great Scotch house of Douglas. Boswell, who was but little indisposed to exaggeration, and who is reported by Sir Walter Scott to have been such an ardent partizan that he headed a mob which smashed the windows of the judges of the Court of Session, says that "the Douglas cause shook the security ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... black hood. The lady was Queen Anne, to whom, in compliance with a superstition just dying a natural death, he had been taken by his mother to be touched for the king's evil. The touch was ineffectual. Perhaps, as Boswell suggested, he ought to have been presented to the genuine heirs of the Stuarts in Rome. Disease and superstition had thus stood by his cradle, and they never quitted him during life. The demon of hypochondria ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... major or minor, whether affecting the foundation of conduct or the surface of manners, remain fixed. On the contrary, one of the most interesting things in literature is to mark the shifts and changes in men's standards. For instance, Boswell tells a curious story of the first occasion on which Johnson met Sir Joshua Reynolds. Two ladies of the company were regretting the death of a friend to whom they owed great obligations. Reynolds observed that they had at any rate the comfort of being relieved ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... fault of going to sleep while I am dictating, till I vow to change my Womanuensis for a Manuensis." How keenly and well the pun serves him in burlesque, in his comic imitations of the great moralist! He hits off with inimitable ridicule the great moralist's dislike to Scotland. Boswell inquired the Doctor's opinion on illicit distillation, and how the great moralist would act in an affray between the smugglers and the excise. "If I went by the letter of the law, I should assist the customs; but according to the spirit, I should stand by the contrabandists." The ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 37, November, 1860 • Various

... prologue or epilogue; and my little book-room being very rich in the drama, I have looked through many hundreds of those bits of rhyme, and at last made a discovery, which, if it have no other good effect, will at least have 'emptied my head of Corsica,' as Johnson said to Boswell; for never was the great biographer more haunted by the thought of Paoli than I by that line. It occurs in an epilogue by Garrick, on quitting the stage, June, 1776, when the performance was for the benefit of sick ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... gloriam divitas aut honores pugnanus, sed propter libertatem solummodo, quam nemo bonus nisi cum vita amittit.—" Lit. Comit. et Baron. Scotoe ad Pap. A.D. 1320 (quoted by BOSWELL). ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... has lacked the art to employ in his writings. But Burns was not thus hampered in the practice of the literary art; he could throw the whole weight of his nature into his work, and impregnate it from end to end. If Doctor Johnson, that stilted and accomplished stylist, had lacked the sacred Boswell, what should we have known of him? and how should we have delighted in his acquaintance as we do? Those who spoke with Burns tell us how much we have lost who did not. But I think they exaggerate their privilege: I think ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... classes, generally speaking, did not prevail. The free use of the tongue gave rise to riots and feuds to an extent which it is difficult for us to realise at the present day. A strong feeling against scolding women came down to a late period. Readers of Boswell's "Life of Johnson" will remember how the Doctor, in reply to a remark made by a celebrated Quaker lady, Mrs. Knowles, observed: "Madam, we have different modes of restraining evil—stocks for men, a ducking-stool for women, and a pound ...
— Bygone Punishments • William Andrews

... perhaps scarcely a professedly satirical production in the proper sense of the word, there are few more pungent satires than the following letter. In Boswell's Life of Johnson we read, "When the Dictionary was on the eve of publication. Lord Chesterfield, who, it is said, had flattered himself with expectations that Johnson would dedicate the work to him, attempted in a courtly manner to soothe and insinuate himself ...
— English Satires • Various

... and George Catcott, a pair of pewterers, the former vulgar and uneducated but very ambitious to be thought a man of good birth and education, the latter a credulous, selfish and none too scrupulous fellow, a would-be antiquary, of whom there is the most delightfully absurd description in Boswell's Johnson. The biographer relates that in the year 1776 Johnson and he were on a visit to Bristol and were induced by Catcott to climb the steep flight of stairs which led to the muniment room in order to see the famous 'Rowley's Cofre'. ...
— The Rowley Poems • Thomas Chatterton

... has as yet found place in the list of dry-farm crops. The leading; spring varieties of oats are the Sixty-Day, Kherson, Burt, and Swedish Select. The one winter variety, which is grown chiefly in Utah, is the Boswell, a black variety originally brought from England ...
— Dry-Farming • John A. Widtsoe

... deposited your ticket in the box. You may, perhaps, breathe the breath of life into the nostrils of the coldest clay of conservatism you know: for true it is that men not only catch manners, as they do diseases, one from another, but that they catch unconscious inspiration also. Boswell, when absent from London and his hero, acknowledged himself to be empty, vapid; and he became somewhat only when "impregnated with the Johnsonian ether." So the ether of your own earnest, fervent, patriotic character may impregnate the spiritless and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... Boswell tells us what were Johnson's views on book collecting. "When I mentioned that I had seen in the King's Library sixty-three editions of my favourite Thomas a Kempis, amongst which it was in eight languages, Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, English, Arabick, and Armenian, he ...
— How to Form a Library, 2nd ed • H. B. Wheatley

... the neighbouring commons there were always some gypsy tribes in encampment, the two largest of them being known by the names of 'Boswell's crew,' and 'Smith's crew.' While out on his solitary rambles, John Clare made the accidental acquaintance of 'King Boswell,' which acquaintance, after being kept up by the interchange of many little courtesies and acts of kindness, ...
— The Life of John Clare • Frederick Martin

... Ermenonville. Robespierre, who could not have been more than twenty at the time, for Rousseau died in the summer of 1778, is said to have gone on a reverential pilgrimage in search of an oracle from the lonely sage, as Boswell and as Gibbon and a hundred others had gone before him. Rousseau was wont to use his real adorers as ill as he used his imaginary enemies. Robespierre may well have shared the discouragement of the enthusiastic father who informed Rousseau that he was about to bring up his son on the principles ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... Boswell was accompanying Dr. Johnson to "The Cheese," records of St. Dunstan's Club, which also met there, showed that the current price of a Buck Rabbit was tuppence, and that this was also the amount ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... so," answered the cattle-drover. "Why, that's the famous Doctor Samuel Johnson, who, they say, is the greatest and learnedest man in England. I saw him in London Streets, walking with one Mr. Boswell." ...
— True Stories from History and Biography • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... and the favourite of his profession—the sparkling and ready wit who, thirteen years before the day of Burns, had met the rude manners of Dr. Johnson with a well-known repartee. When the Doctor visited the Parliament House, Erskine was presented to him by Boswell, and was somewhat gruffly received. After having made his bow, Erskine (p. 046) slipped a shilling into Boswell's hand, whispering that it was for the ...
— Robert Burns • Principal Shairp

... breakfast. But it was no use. William discovered her deception rapidly, and it seemed to annoy him unduly. His visits began to fall off, and after Gladys had artlessly remarked to him one day, 'Who is that Mr. Boswell you're always talking about—he must be a great friend of yours. I hope you'll introduce me,' he ceased to ...
— Our Elizabeth - A Humour Novel • Florence A. Kilpatrick

... scarce a hand to bid him farewell; of brave Tobias Smollett, and his life, how hard, and how poorly rewarded; of Goldsmith, and the physician whispering, "Have you something on your mind?" and the wild dying eyes answering, "Yes." Notice how Boswell speaks of Goldsmith, and the splendid contempt with which he regards him. Read Hawkins on Fielding, and the scorn with which Dandy Walpole and Bishop Hurd speak of him. Galley-slaves doomed to tug the ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... miss to deal with its particular subject, so closely that theme and treatment can scarcely be separated, by so much will it be faulty as literature. Milton is fairly possessed with the story of Man's fall, Boswell possessed with Johnson, Shelley with hatred of tyranny in all its manifestations, Mill again with the idea of Liberty: and it is only because we had knowledge presented to us at an age when we thought more attentively of apples, that we still fail ...
— On The Art of Reading • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... society in London so agreeable that Macaulay would have preferred it at breakfast or at dinner "to the company of Sterne or Fielding, Horace Walpole or Boswell." The love of reading which Gibbon declared he would not exchange for all the treasures of India was, in fact, with Macaulay "a main element of happiness in one of the happiest lives that it has ever fallen to the lot of ...
— The Pleasures of Life • Sir John Lubbock

... was no mere artist, but an artist-philosopher, and that the artist-philosophers are the only sort of artists I take quite seriously, will be no news to you. Even Plato and Boswell, as the dramatists who invented Socrates and Dr Johnson, impress me more deeply than the romantic playwrights. Ever since, as a boy, I first breathed the air of the transcendental regions at a performance of Mozart's Zauberflote, ...
— Man And Superman • George Bernard Shaw

... time. He obtained an appointment as secretary to the Royal Academy of Painting, and became acquainted with Johnson, Garrick and others of that society. He was a frequent visitor at the Thrales'; and his name occurs repeatedly in Boswell's Life. In 1769 he was tried for murder, having had the misfortune to inflict a mortal wound with his fruit knife on a man who had assaulted him on the street. Johnson among others gave evidence in his favour at the trial, which resulted in Baretti's acquittal. He died in May 1789. His first work ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... this extract without an intense inward delight in its wit and a full recognition of its thorough half-truthfulness. Yet if while the great moralist is indulging in these vivacities, he can be imagined as receiving a message from Mr. Boswell or Mrs. Thrale flashed through the depths of the ocean, we can suppose he might be tempted to indulge in another oracular utterance, something like this:—-A wise man recognizes the convenience of a general statement, ...
— The Poet at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... neglected, had been growing up outside its bounds. It was so with Methodism; it was so also with Quakerism. When Quakers found that its more reasonable tenets could be held, and find a certain amount of sympathy within the Church, it quickly began to lose its strength. A remark of Boswell's in 1776, that many a man was a Quaker without his knowing it,[493] could scarcely have been made in the corresponding year of the previous century. At the earlier date there was almost nothing in common ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... [Footnote 4: From Boswell's "Life of Johnson." Wilkes was the famous publicist and political agitator who was expelled from Parliament, imprisoned and outlawed, but afterward elected Lord Mayor of London and allowed to sit ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... The ecclesiastical Boswell dared not mention the subject again to his hero for several years, though he came after from Durham to visit him, and celebrate mass for him in his little chapel. After some years, however, he approached the matter again; and whether ...
— The Hermits • Charles Kingsley

... probably burned a light all night. He said that was so. "My curse," he added, "is insomnia. Two or three hours hence I shall get up and lie on the couch, and, to pass away a weary hour, read this book"—a volume of Boswell's Johnson which I noticed he took out of the bookcase as we left the studio. It did not escape me that on the table stood two small bottles sealed and labelled, together with a little measuring-glass. Without looking further at it, but with a terrible suspicion growing ...
— Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1883 • T. Hall Caine

... be the roe deer, which are very little known. It is the fallow deer that chiefly people our parks. Red deer were also found at Blenheim, in Oxfordshire, when it was visited by Dr. Johnson, as may be seen in "Boswell."] As my father always retained a town-house in Manchester (somewhere in Fountain-street), and, though a plain, unpretending man, was literary to the extent of having written a book, all things were so arranged that there was no possibility of any ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I'd as lief pray with Kit Smart as with any one else. Another charge was that he did not love clean linen; and I have no passion for it." When Boswell paid Johnson his memorable first visit in 1763, Smart had recently been released from Bedlam, and Johnson naturally spoke of him. He said: "My poor friend Smart showed the disturbance of his mind by falling upon his knees ...
— Gossip in a Library • Edmund Gosse

... essay on Madame D’Arblay, that Lady Miller kept a vase “wherein fools were wont to put bad verses.” Dr. Johnson also said, when Boswell named a gentleman of his acquaintance who wrote for the vase, “He was a blockhead for his pains”; on the other hand, when told that the Duchess of Northumberland wrote, Johnson said, “Sir, the Duchess of Northumberland may do what she pleases: nobody will say anything to a lady ...
— Anna Seward - and Classic Lichfield • Stapleton Martin

... curious and entertaining, and fit to stand on the same shelf with the "Magnalia" of his book-suffocated son. Cunningham's comparatively recent edition, we should think, might satisfy for a long time to come the demand for Drummond, whose chief value to posterity is as the Boswell of Ben Jonson. Sir Thomas Overbury's "Characters" are interesting illustrations of contemporary manners, and a mine of footnotes to the works of better men,—but, with the exception of "The Fair and Happy Milkmaid," they are dull enough to have pleased James the First; his "Wife" ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... 100 authors, including: James R. Lowell, Burroughs, Herrick, Thackeray, Scott, Vaughn, Milton, Cowley, Browning, Stevenson, Henley, Longfellow, Keats, Swift, Meredith, Lamb, Lang, Dobson, Fitzgerald, Pepys, Addison, Kemble, Boswell, Holmes, ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... have travelled in Holland and have set down the record of their experiences, from Thomas Coryate downwards. But the country has not been inspiring, and Dutch travels are poor reading. Had Dr. Johnson lived to accompany Boswell on a projected journey we should be the richer, but I doubt if any very interesting narrative would have resulted. One of Johnson's contemporaries, Samuel Ireland, the engraver, and the father of the fraudulent author of Vortigern, wrote A Picturesque Tour ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... Robert Peel that he had the honour to be, Sir, his most grateful and obedient servant. One cannot object, either, to the 'Your most obliged and faithful friend' of Evelyn when addressed to Pepys, or to the 'Your very faithful, humble servant' of Bishop Percy, when penned to Boswell. It is, however, a little diverting to observe that Sir Simonds d'Ewes, after addressing his ladylove as 'Fairest,' concludes with 'Your humble servant,' and that the Tatler of his time, rounding off a dedicatory letter to his 'Prue,' says: 'I am, Madam, your most obliged husband, and most ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams

... on the style of this account of your parents, seek in the corresponding sections of several biographies for hints. Good ones may be discovered in Boswell's Johnson, Lockhart's Scott, Southey's Nelson, Trevelyan's ...
— Practical English Composition: Book II. - For the Second Year of the High School • Edwin L. Miller

... Abbot Boswell died Cuthbert became head of the Abbey in his place. But after twelve years of living indoors with the other monks he could bear it no longer. For he longed to get out into the fresh air and under the sky once more. He resolved to become a hermit, and to live ...
— The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts • Abbie Farwell Brown

... any sense worthy of the name—from point to point beyond its own immediate sphere, until he finds his interest expanding and his tastes forming under a natural and rapid process of evolution. Can any intelligent person read his Homer or his 'AEneid,' his Boswell, his 'Old Mortality,' or 'The Voyage of the Beagle' without asking himself who are these strange characters, and where are these strange lands that seem ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... he wanted?" asked the wheelsman, who had given the name of Boswell. "Why didn't you bring the sick boy ...
— The Call of the Beaver Patrol - or, A Break in the Glacier • V. T. Sherman

... two. Small as the collection was, it contained some rare books,—among the rest, a curious little volume, entitled "The Miracles of Nature and Art," to which we find Dr. Johnson referring, in one of the dialogues chronicled by Boswell, as scarce even in his day, and which had been published, he said, some time in the seventeenth century by a bookseller whose shop hung perched on Old London Bridge, between sky and water. It contained, too, the only copy I ever ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... Antoine Arnaudon Arnold Artus Ballade Ballande Barnes Bart Bartram Beaur Behrens Belmondi Berzelius Bizanger Blackwood Blair Bolley Bonney Bossin Boswell Bottger Boutenguy Braconnot Brande Bufeu Bufton Bure Carter Caw Cellier Champion Chaptal Chevallier Clarke Close Cochrane Collin Cooke Coupier and Collins Coxe Crock Cross Darcet Davids Davis Delunel Delarve Delang ...
— Forty Centuries of Ink • David N. Carvalho

... manner was so impressive that there was a unanimous and simultaneous movement upon the part of all present to get up closer, so as the more readily to hear what he said, as a result of which poor old Boswell was pushed overboard, and fell with a loud splash into the Styx. Fortunately, however, one of Charon's pleasure-boats was close at hand, and in a short while the dripping, sputtering spirit was drawn into it, wrung out, and sent home to dry. The excitement attending ...
— The Pursuit of the House-Boat • John Kendrick Bangs

... thousand New Yorkers, who like the present writer, not having considered the subject very deeply, have held to the vague idea that the club was an invention of a certain Dr. Samuel Johnson. Also that it came about in some such way as this. The Doctor had grown weary of bullying the patient Boswell, and browbeating the acquaintance met by chance in Fleet Street or the Strand did not entirely satisfy him. So one day, storming out of the Cheshire Cheese, after roundly abusing the larkpie of which ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... classics, his immense enthusiasm and his strong desire to prove his case. He was a great advocate before he was a great writer, and he never loses sight of the jury of his readers. He blackens the shadows and heightens the lights in order to make heroes out of Clive and Warren Hastings; he hammers Boswell and Boswell's editor, Croker, over the sacred head of old Dr. Johnson; he lampoons every eminent Tory, as he idealizes every prominent Whig in English political history. Macaulay's style is declamatory; he wrote as though he were to ...
— Modern English Books of Power • George Hamlin Fitch

... with a set of gloomy prejudices, acceptable only because of the stout honesty of the source from which they come. He thought life a poor thing at the best and took a low view of human nature. "The notion of liberty," he told the faithful Boswell, "amuses the people of England and helps to keep off the tedium vitae." The idea of a society properly organized into ranks and societies he always esteemed highly. "I am a friend to subordination," he said, "as most conducive to the happiness of society." He was a Jacobite ...
— Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham • Harold J. Laski

... interesting, but you are truthful, and we spooks hate libellers. Just because one happens to be a thing is no reason why writers should libel it, and that's why I have always respected you. We regard you as a sort of spook Boswell. You may be dull and stupid, but you tell the truth, and when I saw you in imminent danger of becoming a mere grease spot, owing to the fearful heat, I decided to help you through. That's why I'm here. Go to sleep now. I'll ...
— Ghosts I have Met and Some Others • John Kendrick Bangs

... FitzGerald, and showed me his memorials of their friendship. This was a copy of Miss Edgeworth's 'Frank,' in German and English, given to FitzGerald at Edgeworthstown (cf. 'Letters,' p. 74); and that, FitzGerald's own school copy of Boswell's 'Johnson,' which he gave Mr Spalding, first writing on the fly-leaf—"He was pleased to say to me one morning when we were alone in his study, 'Boswell, I am almost easier with you than with anybody' (vol. v. p. 75)." Here, again, was a scrap-book, containing, inter alia, a long ...
— Two Suffolk Friends • Francis Hindes Groome

... closely printed pages he has compressed every incident in Borrow's career, and we would not quarrel with him nor his publisher for calling his life a 'definitive biography' if one did not know that there is not and cannot be anything 'definitive' about a biography except in the case of a Master. Boswell, Lockhart, Mrs. Gaskell are authors who had the advantage of knowing personally the subjects of their biographies. Any biographer who has not met his hero face to face and is dependent solely on documents is crippled in his undertaking. Moreover, such a biographer is always liable ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... controversial member of Parliament, as a first-rate wit, and as an intimate friend of Boswell, Courtenay remains a shadowy figure. References to him occur often in the last volumes of Boswell's journal, but few of them are particularly revealing. Courtenay evidently never met Johnson; indeed, the anonymous ...
— A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the late Samuel Johnson (1786) • John Courtenay

... kings, presided always at the stitching of his red robes. Boswell says somewhere that a badly starched stock could kill his Johnson's morning. It was the hanging of his own chintzes that first swayed William Morris from epic mood to household utensils. Seneca, first in Latin in the whole Silver Age, prepared his own vegetables. There ...
— Humoresque - A Laugh On Life With A Tear Behind It • Fannie Hurst

... little before this a young Scotsman named James Boswell got to know the great man. He worshiped Johnson and spent as much time with him as he could. It was a strange friendship which grew up between these two. The great man bullied and insulted yet loved the little man, and the little man accepted ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... of books. At short intervals, books and shelves ought to be dusted by the amateur himself. Even Dr. Johnson, who was careless of his person, and of volumes lent to him, was careful about the cleanliness of his own books. Boswell found him one day with big gloves on his hands beating the dust out of his library, as was his custom. There is nothing so hideous as a dirty thumb-mark on a white page. These marks are commonly made, not because the reader has unwashed hands, but because the dust which settles on the top edge ...
— The Library • Andrew Lang

... discussion on duelling will recall similar talks between Boswell and Johnson, or that between the lieutenant and Tom in the Seventh Book of Tom Jones, but, more particularly, the sermon delivered by Johnson on this subject a propos of General Oglethorpe's story of how ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... second edition, with additions and corrections, he announced in a few prefatory lines that he had expunged some superfluities, and corrected some faults, and here and there had scattered a remark; but that the main fabric continued the same. "I have looked into it," he observes, in a letter to Boswell, "very little since I wrote it, and, I think, I found it full as often better as worse than ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... Dr. S. JOHNSON, his biographer Boswell tells us, "was a man of very nice discernment in the science of cookery," and talked of good eating with uncommon satisfaction. "Some people," said he, "have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat; for my part, I mind my belly very studiously and very ...
— The Cook's Oracle; and Housekeeper's Manual • William Kitchiner

... "Glorious John Dryden" shared in the general enthusiasm for the veteran Beeston, and bestowed on him the title of "the chronicle of the stage"; while John Aubrey, the honest antiquary and gossip, who had in his disorderly brain the makings of a Boswell, sought Beeston's personal acquaintance about 1660, in order to "take from him the lives of the ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... came the Ploughman Poet and the Ettrick Shepherd, Boswell and Dr. Johnson, Dr. John Brown and Thomas Carlyle, Lady Nairne and Drummond of Hawthornden, Allan Ramsay and Sir Walter; and is it not a proof of the Wizard's magic art, that side by side with the wraiths of these real people walked, or seemed ...
— Penelope's Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... things better than this," said Dr. Johnson, on feeling himself settled in a coach, and rolling along the road. We cannot agree with the great man. Times have changed since the Doctor and Mr. Boswell travelled for pleasure; and we much prefer an expedition to Moosehead, or a tramp in the Adirondack, to being boxed up in a four-wheeled ark and made "comfortable," according to the Doctor's ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... in regard to what, from their individual standpoint, constitutes the public weal. Love me, love my dog; subscribe to all my opinions; follow all my political changes or I disown you,—when people guide their conduct by this principle all pairs of friends, except such a one as Boswell and Dr. Johnson's, sooner or later must separate. Taine is an observer, an investigator, a critic; and having devoted himself in turn to travel and to the study of metaphysics, of art and of literature, he has now turned his ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... know what everybody is thinking about them.' He is didactic, and therefore often dull, and will eventually, no doubt, become one of the greatest bores in Great Britain. At present, however, he is worth knowing; and I propose to myself to be his Boswell, and to introduce him—or, at least, his views—to other people. I have entitled them the Midway Inn, partly from my own inveterate habit of story-telling, but chiefly from an image of his own, by which he once described to me, in his fine egotistic rolling style, ...
— Some Private Views • James Payn

... is prolific of metaphor, whereof an amusing instance is Boswell's comparison of himself, when translating Paoli's talk to Dr. Johnson, to a "narrow isthmus connecting two continents." It has been aptly said of Dante's great poem, that, in the world of letters, it is a mediaeval bridge over ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... with him o' nights, as he did with them, delighting in the humor of his conversation, which was said by a contemporary to be unequaled except by the old comedians, in whom Lamb's spirit found diversion; piercing to heights and depths in his nature which Boswell never revealed to him; while Johnson, it may safely be inferred, would have loved this "poor Charles," in whom Carlyle could perceive but so slender a strain of worth. But had they met at all, it would have been on equal terms. Goldsmith maintained ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... was occupied, and on which much of his fame depends. He had published a pamphlet upon Shakespeare's Macbeth which won the praise of Warburton, for which Johnson always felt and showed his gratitude ("He praised me at a time when praise was of value to me"); and, if Boswell is right, he had begun to occupy {98} himself with the idea of making an English Dictionary. Thus, poor and obscure as he was in those years, sick with deferred hope as he must have been, he had in fact laid the foundation-stones of the authority and fame he was ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... given as a favourite medicine in pulmonary catarrh. It is flavoured with orange flowers, and acts as a demulcent with slightly stimulating effects. One part of the plant is gently boiled with ten parts of water, and with nineteen parts of white sugar. Dr. Johnson says Boswell used to put Capillaire into his port wine. Sir John Hill instructed us that (as we cannot get the true Maidenhair fresh in England) the fine syrup made in France from their Fern in perfection, concocted with pure Narbonne honey, is not by any means to be ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... means gratified by the ponderous prancings of his imitator. We learn from Boswell that when the great man met Captain Cook at a dinner given by the President of the Royal Society, he said that he "was much pleased with the conscientious accuracy of that celebrated circumnavigator, who set me right as to many ...
— Laperouse • Ernest Scott

... Speaking to Boswell of the writers of Queen Anne's time, Dr. Johnson said, "I think Dr. Arbuthnot the first man among them. He was the most universal genius, being an excellent physician, a man of deep learning, and ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... Robert Doun brings up recollections of another literary name—that of David Mallet, or Malloch, who is said to have been born in Crieff. He has the honour of being mentioned several times in Boswell's Life of Johnson. The latter had no great respect for him, though, perhaps, he did not mean all he said in his famous criticism of Lord Bolingbroke's philosophy, which Mallet published after the author's death. "Sir, he was a scoundrel and a coward—a scoundrel, ...
— Chronicles of Strathearn • Various

... of April 7th, 1778, at Streatham, in the well-appointed house of Mr. Thrale. Johnson, on the morning of that day, had entertained Boswell at breakfast in Bolt Court, and invited him to dine at Thrale Hall. The two took coach and arrived early. It seems that Sir John Pringle had asked Boswell to ask Johnson 'what were the best English sermons for style.' In the interval before dinner, accordingly, Boswell reeled ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... licence of the Restoration, seems to us a coarse and vulgar picture, whose painter took the most garish colours he could find on his palette, and then laid them on in untempered crudity. And who is not sensible of the vulgarity and coarseness of the account of Boswell? 'If he had not been a great fool he would not have been a great writer ... he was a dunce, a parasite, and a coxcomb,' and so forth, in which the shallowness of the analysis of Boswell's character matches the puerile rudeness of the terms. Here again, is a sentence about Montesquieu. 'The English ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... age of twenty-three, having been graduated from college and having read the poems of Villon, the confessions of Rousseau, and Boswell's life of Johnson, I was convinced that I had comprehended the sum of human wisdom and knew all there was worth knowing. If at the present time—for I am seventy-two—I knew as much as I thought I knew ...
— The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac • Eugene Field

... Boswell's life of Dr. Johnson when you come to read it, as you will be sure to do by and by, has left a living picture of this great and good man for all future generations to enjoy, extenuating nothing to his quaintness, directness, and proneness to contradiction ...
— The Glory of English Prose - Letters to My Grandson • Stephen Coleridge



Words linked to "Boswell" :   booster, champion, friend, protagonist, supporter, admirer, author, James Boswell, writer



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