Samuel Johnson quote about desire from The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia - However, some desire is necessary to keep life in motion; and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.
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However, some desire is necessary to keep life in motion; and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.
 Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759). copy citation

Context

“I am unwilling to doubt thy veracity, yet inconsistencies cannot both be true.»
«Inconsistencies,» answered Imlac, «cannot both be right; but, imputed to man, they may both be true. Yet diversity is not inconsistency. My father might expect a time of greater security. However, some desire is necessary to keep life in motion; and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.»
«This,» said the Prince, «I can in some measure conceive. I repent that I interrupted thee.»
«With this hope,» proceeded Imlac, «he sent me to school. But when I had once found the delight of knowledge, and felt the pleasure of intelligence and the pride of invention, I began silently to despise riches, and determined to disappoint the purposes of my father, whose grossness of conception raised my pity.” source

Meaning and analysis

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