16 February 2016

A journey through Lent 2016
with Samuel Johnson (7)

‘Though the day is past … there yet remains one effort to be made’ … evening lights in High Street, Wexford, a few weeks ago (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent this year, I am taking time each morning to reflect on words from Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the Lichfield lexicographer and writer who compiled the first authoritative English-language dictionary.

Writing in the Rambler on 30 October 1750, Johnson ascribed these words to a fictional hermit:

“Happy are they ... who shall learn ... not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavours ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errours, and that he who implores strength and courage from above shall find danger and difficulty give way before him.”

Continued tomorrow.

Yesterday’s reflection.

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