Fancy Free

Cover of book Fancy Free
Categories: Fiction » Literature

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: JOHNSON'S BOSWELL


EARNING from a source sufficiently credible that the young Scotchman James Boswell, son and heir to the Laird of Auchinleck, designs some future biography of myself, I have favoured him with a measure of my company and conversation naturally denied to most men of his age. His attainments, without being considerable, are varied, and though the man's garrulity can command neither respect nor admiration, yet there is about him a charm of rude health, high spirits, and good temper, which to undervalue or overlook would be at once unreasonable and unfair. His veneration for the writer, if irksome, is genuine; if at times offensive, is consistent. He has not as yet broke to me his intention, but the ambition was imparted to others of high repute. Them it is not necessary that I should here distinguish by their several appellations, but oneand all inform me that Mr. Boswell, by constant practice and unceasing attention to my utterances in company, has so far schooled his memory to retrace and record with a startling accuracy much of the varied disquisition which is said to fall from me in conversation, together with those aphorisms, similes, apothegms, new lights, illuminations, corruscations, and repartees likewise reported as occurring in the substance of my discourse. Whether such a piece as must result from his assiduity is desirable, or can be fashioned with art sufficient to justify its existence, I shall not presume to determine. Fame, by which is understood the survival of human achievement, must be won by a man's own labour; and it is surely vain to imagine that the attention of successive generations can be arrested by the idle elaboration of a daily life from an unknown pen, no matter how minute the record or illustrious the object of it. Be that as it may... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Fancy Free
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