The famed moralist and writer Samuel Johnson was born 300 years old today. Randy Cohen, who writes The Ethicist column for The New York Times Magazine, gives us his take on what the crusty, eminently quotable moralist might have made of some of our present-day dilemmas.
1784. ÆTAT.- And now I am arrived at the last year of the life of Samuel Johnson, a year in which, although passed in severe indisposition, he nevertheless gave many evidences of the continuance of those wondrous powers of mind, which raised him so high in the intellectual world. His conversation and his letters of this year were in no respect inferiour to those of former years.
--James Boswell, "The Life of Samuel Johnson"
infa'usting. The act of making unlucky. An odd and inelegant word.
--Samuel Johnson, in "Johnson's Dictionary"