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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

3984 Samuel Johnson 1709-1784 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
QUOTATION:Let observation with extensive view
Survey mankind, from China to Peru. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Vanity of Human Wishes. Line 1.
Note 1.
All human race, from China to Peru,
Pleasure, howe’er disguised by art, pursue.
Thomas Warton: Universal Love of Pleasure.

De Quincey (Works, vol. x. p. 72) quotes the criticism of some writer, who contends with some reason that this high-sounding couplet of Dr. Johnson amounts in effect to this: Let observation with extensive observation observe mankind extensively. [back]