Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The History of Mankind

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Sermon 12, in The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 14: Sermons, edd. ‎Jean H. Hagstrum and ‎James Gray (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), p. 130:
The history of mankind is little else than a narrative of designs which have failed, and hopes that have been disappointed. In all matters of emulation and contest, the success of one implies the defeat of another, and at least half the transaction terminates in misery. And in designs not directly contrary to the interest of another, and therefore not opposed either by artifice or violence, it frequently happens, that by negligence or mistake, or unseasonable officiousness, a very hopeful project is brought to nothing.

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