James Boswell

[9th Laird of Auchinleck] (1740-1795 / Edinburgh)

James Boswell Quotes

  • ''We had some port, and drank damnation to the play and eternal remorse to the author.''
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. London Journal, journal, January 19, 1763, p. 154, McGraw-Hill (1950).
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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 (1740-1795), Scottish author. London Journal, journal, January 12, 1763, p. 139, McGraw-Hill (1950). Description of his idyllic rendezvous with Louisa, written when he already knew its unpleasant consequences.
  • ''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 (1740-1795), Scottish author. Ominous Years, November 17, 1774, p. 39, McGraw-Hill (1963).
  • ''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 (1740-1795), Scottish author. Ominous Years, November 3, 1775, pp. 174-75, McGraw-Hill (1963).
  • ''It is not every man who can be exquisitely miserable, any more than exquisitely happy.''
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. repr. In vol. 1, pp. 136-37, Stanford University Press (1928). The Hypochondriack, No. V (Feb. 1778).
  • ''I borrowed today out of the Advocate's Library, David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, but found it so abstruse, so contrary to sound sense and reason, and so drearying its effects on the mind, if it had any, that I resolved to return it without reading it.
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish writer.
  • ''I find I journalize too tediously. Let me try to abbreviate.''
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish biographer. entry, Aug. 20, 1792. Boswell: The Great Biographer (1989).
  • ''After I went to bed I had a curious fancy as to dreams. In sleep the doors of the mind are shut, and thoughts come jumping in at the windows. They tumble headlong, and therefore are so disorderly and strange. Sometimes they are stout and light on their feet, and then they are rational dreams.''
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell: The Ominous Years, journal, January 11, 1776, p. 218, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1963).
  • ''I argued that the chastity of women was of much more consequence than that of men, as the property and rights of families depend upon it.''
    James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell in Extremes, journal, April 6, 1776, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1970).
  • ''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 (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell in Holland, "Inviolable Plan," Oct. 16, 1763, p. 388, McGraw-Hill (1952).

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