Friday, July 19, 2019


The Cup of Life

Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (1741-1821), "Anecdotes," in Johnsoniana, ed. Robina Napier (London: George Bell and Sons, 1884), p. 61:
Though thus uncommonly ready both to give and take offence, Mr. Johnson had many rigid maxims concerning the necessity of continued softness and compliance of disposition: and when I once mentioned Shenstone's idea that some little quarrel among lovers, relations, and friends was useful, and contributed to their general happiness upon the whole, by making the soul feel her elastic force, and return to the beloved object with renewed delight:—"Why, what a pernicious maxim is this now," cries Johnson, "all quarrels ought to be avoided studiously, particularly conjugal ones, as no one can possibly tell where they may end; besides that lasting dislike is often the consequence of occasional disgust, and that the cup of life is surely bitter enough without squeezing in the hateful rind of resentment."

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