Boswell's Life


James Boswell. Letter to Samuel Johnson. March 3, 1772. Manuscript. MS Hyde 2 (20)

This letter discusses the planned trip to Scotland that would be recounted in both Johnson's A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Boswell's The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Boswell reiterates a common theme in his correspondence with Johnson: his disappointment that Johnson does not write him more frequently.

It is hard that I cannot prevail with you to write to me oftener. But I am convinced that it is in vain to push you for a private correspondence with any regularity. I must therefore look upon you as a Fountain of Wisdom, from whence few rills are communicated to a distance, and which must be approached at its source, to partake fully of its virtues.