26 February 2023
A journey through Lent 2023
with Samuel Johnson (5)
This morning [26 February 2023] is the First Sunday in Lent, and later this morning I hope to be present at the Parish Eucharist in Holy Trinity Church, Wolverton.
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.
In the days leading up to Lent last week, I quoted from poems by John Keble and Christina Rosetti on love. Johnson wrote in the Rambler on 4 January 1752: ‘It is always necessary to be loved, but not always necessary to be reverenced.’
In his biography of Johnson, Boswell recalled the following conversation:
I regretted that I had lost much of my disposition to admire, which people generally do as they advance in life.
Johnson: ‘Sir, as a man advances in life, he gets what is better than admiration – judgement, to estimate things at their true value.’
I still insisted that admiration was more pleasing than judgment, as love is more pleasing than friendship. The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagne.
Johnson: ‘No, Sir, admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgement and friendship like being enlivened.’
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment