Johnson's Table Talk: A Selection of His Main Topics and Opinions Taken from Boswell's Life and Arranged by W. A. Lewis Bettany (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Johnson's Table Talk: A Selection of His Main Topics and Opinions Taken From Boswell's Life and Arranged by W. A. Lewis Bettany

Eastern allegory, render them desperately. Alien from modern taste and sympathy. While Rar jf/di - a romance which has neither story to tell nor characters to develop - contains such a definitive statement of johnson's manly but melancholy creed as makes it little better than a sermon in disguise. No' doubt, then, that he who would know johnson's view of the eternal verities must listen to the' discourses of T a. Idler and of Tae Rambler, and make the acquaintance of Rasselas, of Imlac, and of Nekayah. But he who seeks no solution of the fiddle of the painful earth, he who merely looks for counsel on the conduct of this pre sent life, will turn from the history of Prince Rasselas to the Life qf Samuel Jofimon, and so turning, will find in the unflagging wit and vivacity of james Boswell's Real Conver sations ample recompense for their avoid ance of reasoned philosophyand of gnomic solemnity.

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James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck ( 29 October 1740 - 19 May 1795), was a Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has claimed is the greatest biography written in the English language. Boswell's surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print. In A Scandal in Bohemia, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes affectionately says of Dr. Watson, who narrates the tales, "I am lost without my Boswell.

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