Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Dr. Johnson on the French

James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson:

1747 (aetat. 38):
ADAMS. But the French Academy, which consists of forty members, took forty years to compile their Dictionary. JOHNSON. Sir, thus it is. This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.
1780 (aetat. 71):
A Frenchman must be always talking, whether he knows any thing of the matter or not; an Englishman is content to say nothing, when he has nothing to say.

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