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Doctor Johnson's Retorts

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Dr. Johnson, the great lexicographer, was full of prejudiees and never at a loss for words to defend them. To an unlueky Scotchman who claimed for liis country a great many "noble wild prospects," Johnson replied: "I believe, sir, you have a great many. Norway, too, has noble wild prospects, and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects ; but, sir, let me teil you that the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England." Johnson declared that the Scotch were always ready to lie on each otlier's behalf. "The Irish," he said, "are not in a conspiracy to cheat the world by false representations of the merits of their countrymen. No, sir, the Irish are a fair people ; they never speak well of oneanother." "Scotch learning," remarked Johnson, is like bread in a besieged town. Every man gets a mouthful, but no man a bellyful." Once a friend said, in answer to some abusive remarks, "Well, sir, God ante Scotland." "Certainly," replied Johnson ; "but we must always remember that He made it for Scotchmen ; and comparisons are odious, sir, but God made heil." One day at Thrales, Johnson feil foul of Gray, one of hls pet aversions. Boswell denied that Gray was dull in poetry. "Sir," replied Johnson, "he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way that made people think him great. He was a meehanical poet." Johnson once remarked in answer to somebody who said, "Poor old England is lost!" "Sir, it is not so much to bo lamented that old England is lost as that the Scotch have found it."


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