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Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland from…
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Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland from the dissolution of the last… (1771)

by Sir John Dalrymple

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I mentioned Sir John Dalrymple's 'Memoirs of Great-Britain and Ireland,' and his discoveries to the prejudice of Lord Russel and Algernon Sydney. JOHNSON. 'Why, Sir, every body who had just notions of government thought them rascals before. It is well that all mankind now see them to be rascals.' BOSWELL. 'But, Sir, may not those discoveries be true without their being rascals.' JOHNSON. : 'Consider, Sir; would any of them have been willing to have had it known that they intrigued with France ? Depend upon it, Sir, he who does what he is afraid should be known has something rotten about him. This Dalrymple seems to be an honest fellow; for he tells equally what makes against both sides. But nothing can be poorer than his mode of writing: it is the mere bouncing of a school-boy. Great He! but greater She! and such stuff.'

I could not agree with him in this criticism; for though Sir John Dalrymple's style is not regularly formed in any respect, and one cannot help smiling sometimes at his affected grandiloquence, there is in his writing a pointed vivacity, and much of a gentlemanly spirit.

--James Boswell, in Life of Johnson
  JamesBoswell | Sep 14, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir John Dalrympleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blavet, J.-L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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