An Essay On The Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson

An Essay On The Life And Genius Of Samuel Johnson

An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, LL. D. was written by Arthur Murphy and published in 1792. The work serves as a biography of Samuel Johnson and an introduction to his works included in the volume. Murphy also wrote a biography for Henry Fielding in a 1762 edition of his Works and a biography for David Garrick, the Life of David Garrick, in 1801.

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    In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

    Essay writing is perhaps ... the easiest for the author and requires little more than what is called a fluency of words and a vivacity of expression to avoid dullness; but without ... a real foundation of matter ... an essay writer is very apt, like Dogberry in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, to think that if he had the tediousness of a king, he would bestow it all upon his readers.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    The city is always recruited from the country. The men in cities who are the centres of energy, the driving-wheels of trade, politics or practical arts, and the women of beauty and genius, are the children or grandchildren of farmers, and are spending the energies which their fathers’ hardy, silent life accumulated in frosty furrows in poverty, necessity and darkness.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The others “acted” a role; I was the role. She who was Mary Garden died that it might live. That was my genius ... and my sacrifice. It drained off so much of me that by comparison my private life was empty. I could not give myself completely twice.
    Mary Garden (1874–1967)

    Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence?
    Bible: Hebrew, 1 Samuel 21:15.

    A King, said of David who pretends to be mad.

    I am not able to instruct you. I can only tell that I have chosen wrong. I have passed my time in study without experience; in the attainment of sciences which can, for the most part, be but remotely useful to mankind. I have purchased knowledge at the expense of all the common comforts of life: I have missed the endearing elegance of female friendship, and the happy commerce of domestic tenderness.
    —Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)