Quotation by James Boswell

It always appeared to me that he estimated the compositions of Richardson too highly, and that he had an unreasonable prejudice against Fielding. In comparing these two writers, he used this expression: "that there was as great a difference between them as between a man who knew how a watch was made, and a man who could tell the hour by looking at the dial plate." This was a short and figurative state of his distinction between drawing characters of nature and characters only of manners. But I cannot help being of opinion , that the neat watches of Fielding are as well constructed as the large clocks of Richardson, and that his dial-plates are brighter.
James Boswell (1740–1795), Scottish author. (Originally published 1791). Life of Johnson, Spring 1768, p. 389, Oxford University Press (1980).
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