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Record 20924

Reading Experience:

'I at this time kept up a very frequent correspondence with Sir David [Dalrymple]; and I read to Dr. Johnson to-night the following passage from the letter which I had last received from him: "It gives me pleasure to think that you have obtained the friendship of Mr. Samnel Johnson. He is one of the best moral writers which England has produced. At the same time, I envy you the free and undisguised converse with such a man. May I beg you to present my respects to him, and to assure him of the veneration which I entertain for the author of the 'Rambler' and of 'Rasselas'? Let me recommend this work to you; with the 'Rambler' you certainly are acquainted. In 'Rasselas' you will see a tender-hearted operator, who probes the wound only to heal it. Swift, on the contrary, mangles human nature. He cuts and slashes, as if he took pleasure in the operation, like the tyrant who said, [italics] Ita feri ut se sentiat emori [end italics]." Johnson seemed to be much gratified by this just and well-turned compliment.'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: 14 Jul 1763
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:James Boswell
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 29 Oct 1740
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer and lawyer
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Dr Johnson
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: David Dalrymple
Title: [letter to Boswell]
Genre: letter
Form of Text: Manuscript: Letter
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 20924  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 306-7
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 306-7,, accessed: 19 June 2024

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)