Magazine article Insight on the News

The Wise Wordsmith. (for the People)

Magazine article Insight on the News

The Wise Wordsmith. (for the People)

Article excerpt

For the people has quoted Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) before, but it is difficult to get enough of him because few have said so many things so well. "Most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things," for example, or "A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good."

And how's this for a put-down: "That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one." Or, if you have it in for lawyers, Johnson observed that "he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney."

Or these good pieces of advice: "There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money." And, "Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."

Johnson also understood human nature, as is proved by these statements: "Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentleman. It is assuming a superiority. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.