Common Courtesy in Eighteenth-century English Literature
In one of his Idlers, Johnson indicated the problems involved in such an achievement as follows: "As a question becomes more complicated and involved, and extends to a greater number of relations, disagreement of opinion will always be multiplied: not because we are irrational, but because we are finite beings, furnished with different kinds of knowledge, exerting different degrees of attention, one discovering consequences which escape another, none taking in the whole concatenation of causes and effects, and most comprehending but a very small part, each comparing what he observes with a different criterion and each referring it to a different purpose. "Where, then, is the wonder, that they who see only a small part should judge erroneously of the whole?
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acknowledges actually agreement allows apparent argument asserts attention Author believe Berkeley Berkeley's Boswell circle common sense concern Consider continually conversation course courteous courtesy critics described discourse discussion doubt effect enforces epistle Essay established evident example existence experience explains expression feel figures further give hope human Hylas ideas imagine immediately indicated individual instance intellectual Johnson judgment kind knowledge learned least letter literary Lord matter meaning mind nature never notice observed occasion once opinion particular passage passive philosophers poem poet polite Pope Pope's position possible practice present Press question quotes Rambler readers reason recognizes reference remarkable represented respondent seems Shandy share social society sometimes Sterne style suggests things thought throughout tion topics train Treatise Tristram truth turn uncle understanding universal writing
Page 7 - It was said of Socrates that he brought Philosophy down from heaven, to inhabit among men ; and I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought Philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and in coffeehouses.
Page 18 - IT is evident to any one who takes a survey of the objects of human knowledge, that they are either ideas actually imprinted on the senses; or else such as are perceived by attending to the passions and operations of the mind; or lastly, ideas formed by help of memory and imagination— either compounding, dividing, or barely representing those originally perceived in the aforesaid ways.
Page 45 - This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair, That e'er deserv'da watchful spirit's care; Some dire disaster, or by force, or slight; But what, or where, the fates have wrapt in night. Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Or some frail China jar receive a flaw; Or stain her honour or her new brocade; Forget her pray'rs, or miss a masquerade; Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball; Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Page 53 - Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield, Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ? Where grows ? — where grows it not ? If vain our toil, We ought to blame the culture, not the soil...
Page 46 - Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Page 54 - ORDER is Heaven's first law ; and this confest, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
Page 54 - Oh ! while along the stream of time thy name Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame ; Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale...
Page 53 - Pursues that chain which links th' immense design, Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine ; Sees that no being any bliss can know, But touches some above, and some below ; Learns from this union of the rising whole, The first, last purpose of the human soul ; And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, All end in love of God and love of man.
Page 125 - Nothing can less display knowledge or less exercise invention than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge of his skill in piping; and how one god asks another god what is become of Lycidas, and how neither god can tell. He who thus grieves will excite no sympathy; he who thus praises will confer no honour.