Johnson said that he could repeat a complete chapter of The Natural History of Iceland from the Danish of Horrebow, the whole of which was exactly thus: There are no snakes to be met with throughout the whole island.1 [Chap. lxxii.]
Life of Johnson (Boswell).2Vol. vii. Chap. iv. 1778.
Note 1. Chapter xlii. is still shorter: There are no owls of any kind in the whole island. [back]
Note 2. From the London edition, 10 volumes, 1835.
Dr. Johnson, it is said, when he first heard of Boswells intention to write a life of him, announced, with decision enough, that if he thought Boswell really meant to write his life he would prevent it by taking Boswells!Thomas Carlyle: Miscellanies, Jean Paul Frederic Richter. [back]