"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or
we know where we can find information upon it. When we enquire
into any subject, the first thing we have to do is to know what
books have treated of it. This leads us to look at catalogues,
and at the backs of books in libraries."
— Samuel Johnson (Boswell's Life of Johnson)
On April 18, 1775, Boswell, Johnson, and Sir Joshua Reynolds
were visiting Richard Owen Cambridge, whose villa contained both
an impressive art collection and an extensive library. After a
quick introduction to Cambridge, Johnson ran to the library to
inspect its contents. Johnson's line above came in response to
Cambridge's questioning him regarding the intensity of his
interest in the contents of the library, that he would spend such
time examining the books on the shelves.
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