Thursday, October 22, 2009

Samuel Johnson meets Adam Smith

From The Worldly Philosophers, which I'm already enjoying a great deal:

Sir Walter Scott tells us that Johnson, on first seeing Smith, attacked him for some statement he had made. Smith vindicated the truth of his contention. "What did Johnson say?" was the universal inquiry. "Why, he said," said Smith, with the deepest impression of resentment, "he said, 'You lie!'" "And what did you reply?" "I said, 'You are a son of a bitch!'" On such terms, says Scott, did these two great moralists first meet and part and such was the classical dialogue between two great teachers of philosophy.

Too bad President Obama didn't take the opportunity to replay this exchange.

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