22 March 2016

A journey through Lent 2016
with Samuel Johnson (42)

Samuel Johnson’s birthplace in Breadmarket Street, Lichfield, now the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum (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.

He wrote in The Rambler No 67 (6 November 1750):

Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, of sickness, or captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable; nor does it appear that the happiest lot of terrestrial existence can set us above the want of this general blessing; or that life, when the gifts of nature and of fortune are accumulated upon it, would not still be wretched, were it not elevated and delighted by the expectation of some new possession, of some enjoyment yet behind, by which the wish shall at last be satisfied, and the heart filled up to its utmost extent.

Yesterday’s reflection.

Continued tomorrow.

An artist’s impression of the interior of the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

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