Samuel Johnson quote about flower from The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia - No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of the spring
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No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of the spring
 Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759). copy citation

Context

“This is often the fate of long consideration; he does nothing who endeavours to do more than is allowed to humanity. Flatter not yourself with contrarieties of pleasure. Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content. No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of the spring; no man can at the same time fill his cup from the source and from the mouth of the Nile.»
p. 116CHAPTER XXX
IMLAC ENTERS, AND CHANGES THE CONVERSATION. Here Imlac entered, and interrupted them. «Imlac,» said Rasselas, «I have been taking from the Princess the dismal history of private life, and am almost discouraged from further search.»” source

Meaning and analysis

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