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Cheerful Edward Edwards

When they reached Bolt Court, Edward Edwards said to his old schoolmate, the lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-84):

"You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have tried, too, in my time, to be a philosopher. But I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in."

[A conversation from 17th April 1778. In Fuller 1970, 25]

The Well-Known Rabbi's Better-Known Son

The rabbi Sambadi of Samwher got a son who became one of the rabbis who had many ardent followers. On every Sabbath this rabbi didn't expound the law of Moses or the Torah in the midst of followers. He cracked jokes, and diverted them with merry tales, and everybody, even the greybeards, laughed heartily.

A visitor got surprised. "How can a holy teacher and his followers behave in such an outrageous way? Celebrating the Sabbath with nonsense, funny stories and jest! Rabbi, be ashamed: read the Torah!"

"Torah," exclaimed the rabbi. "What do you suppose I've been expounding here?" Sacred truth is found in all stories and jests!"

(Adapted from Ausubel 1948, 264).

Unhappy in Marriage

A gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage married a second time, right after his first wife died. The lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson said of him:

"His conduct was the triumph of hope over experience."

(Fuller 1970, 153)


Book list

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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