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Friday, October 29, 2021

Samuel Johnson and curiosity


Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Joshua Reynolds


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was an English writer. Wikipedia says,


"...[Johnson] made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer." (Wikipedia: Samuel Johnson, 10.4.21 UTC 14:47)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Johnson.




"A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity." (Quoted in Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell)


"Curiosity is one the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect." (The Rambler, 1750-1752)




"But perhaps, the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in few words." (The Rambler, 1750-1752)


"I fancy mankind may come, in time, to write all aphoristically except in narrative; grow weary of preparation, and connection, and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made." (The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 1785)


"Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language." (A dictionary of the English Language, 1755)




"Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true." (Letters to and from the Late Samuel Johnson by Hester Lynch Piozzi)