“Have a sense of piety ever on your mind, and be ever mindful that this is subject to no change, but will last you as long as life and support you in death. Elevate your soul by prayer and by contemplation without mystical enthusiasm.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Religion
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“English! they are barbarians; they don’t believe in the great God.” I told him, “Excuse me, Sir. We do believe in God, and in Jesus Christ too.” “Um,” says he, “and in the Pope?” “No.” “And why?” This was a puzzling question in these circumstances…. I thought I would try a method of my own, and very gravely replied, “Because we are too far off.” A very new argument against the universal infallibility of the Pope.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Religion
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“Yesterday morning had gone to bed very early, and had done it once: thirteen in all. Was really affectionate to her.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Sex
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“A more voluptuous night I never enjoyed. Five times was I fairly lost in supreme rapture. Louisa was madly fond of me; she declared I was a prodigy.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Sex
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“Too, too plain was Signor Gonorrhoea”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Sex
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“We should be careful never to imagine, that the wedding-day is the burial of love, but that in reality love then begins its best life; and if we set out upon that principle, and are mindful to keep it up, and give due attention and aid to the progress of love thus brought into the well ordered well sheltered garden, we may enjoy I believe as much happiness as is consistent with the imperfection of our present state of being.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Marriage
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“I had a strong curiosity to be satisfied if he persisted in disbelieving a future state even when he had death before his eyes…. I asked him if the thought of annihilation never gave him any uneasiness. He said not the least…. “Well,” said I, “Mr. Hume, I hope to triumph over you when I meet you in a future state; and remember you are not to pretend that you was joking with all this infidelity.” “No, no,” said he. “But I shall have been so long there before you come that it will be nothing new.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Immortality
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“My wife, who does not like journalizing, said it was leaving myself embowelled to posterity–a good strong figure. But I think it is rather leaving myself embalmed. It is certainly preserving myself.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Immortality
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“Writing a book I have found to be like building a house. A man forms a plan, and collects materials. He thinks he has enough to raise a large and stately edifice; but after he has arranged, compacted and polished, his work turns out to be a very small performance. The authour however like the builder, knows how much labour his work has cost him; and therefore estimates it at a higher rate than other people think it deserves,”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Vanity
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“How easily and cleverly do I write just now! I am really pleased with myself; words come skipping to me like lambs upon Moffat Hill; and I turn my periods smoothly and imperceptibly like a skilful wheelwright turning tops in a turning-loom. There’s fancy! There’s simile!”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Vanity
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“I am sensible that my keenness of temper, and a vanity to be distinguished for the day, make me too often splash in life…. I am resolved to restrain myself and attend more to decorum.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Vanity
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“It always appeared to me that he estimated the compositions of Richardson too highly, and that he had an unreasonable prejudice against Fielding. In comparing these two writers, he used this expression: “that there was as great a difference between them as between a man who knew how a watch was made, and a man who could tell the hour by looking at the dial plate.” This was a short and figurative state of his distinction between drawing characters of nature and characters only of manners. But I cannot help being of opinion , that the neat watches of Fielding are as well constructed as the large clocks of Richardson, and that his dial-plates are brighter.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Character
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“[A]s a lady adjusts her dress before a mirror, a man adjusts his character by looking at his journal.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Character
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“In progress of time, when my mind was, as it were, strongly impregnated with the Johnsonian √¶ther, I could, with much more facility and exactness, carry in my memory and commit to paper the exuberant variety of his wit and wisdom.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Character
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“Extraordinary Johnsoniana–Tacenda.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Character
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“You did charmingly yesterday. You attended well to everything.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Character
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“I had a strong curiosity to be satisfied if he persisted in disbelieving a future state even when he had death before his eyes….I asked him if the thought of annihilation never gave him any uneasiness. He said not the least…. “Well,” said I, “Mr. Hume, I hope to triumph over you when I meet you in a future state; and remember you are not to pretend that you was joking with all this infidelity.” “No, no,” said he. “But I shall have been so long there before you come that it will be nothing new.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Atheism
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“I was not at all shocked with this execution at the time. John died seemingly without much pain. He was effectually hanged, the rope having fixed upon his neck very firmly, and he was allowed to hang near three quarters of an hour; so that any attempt to recover him would have been in vain. I comforted myself in thinking that by giving up the scheme I had avoided much anxiety and uneasiness.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Death
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“I make it a kind of pious rule to go to every funeral to which I am invited, both as I wish to pay a proper respect to the dead, unless their characters have been bad, and as I would wish to have the funeral of my own near relations or of myself well attended.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Death
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“My curiosity to see the melancholy spectacle of the executions was so strong that I could not resist it, although I was sensible that I would suffer much from it…. I got upon a scaffold near the fatal tree so that I could clearly see all the dismal scene…. I was most terribly shocked, and thrown into a very deep melancholy.”

James Boswell
Submitted by Quonation |Category: Death