369. Culture; Custom; Eating
not very easy to fix the principles upon which mankind have
agreed to eat some animals, and reject others; and as the
principle is not evident, it is not uniform. That which is
selected as delicate in one country, is by its neighbours
abhorred as loathsome."
Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
"If in books thus made venerable by the uniform attestation of
successive ages, any passages shall appear unworthy of that
praise which they have formerly received, let us not immediately
determine, that they owed their reputation to dulness or bigotry;
but suspect at least that our ancestors had some reasons for
their opinions, and that our ignorance of those reasons makes us
differ from them."
Johnson: Adventurer #58 (May 25, 1753)
1,653. Culture; Fashion
"The manners of the world are not a regular system, planned by
philosophers upon settled principles, in which every cause has a
congruous effect, and one part has a just reference to another.
Of the fashions prevalent in every country, a few have arisen,
perhaps, from particular temperatures of the climate; a few more
from the constitution of the government; but the greater part
have grown up by chance; been started by caprice, been contrived
by affectation, or borrowed without any just motives of choice
from other countries."
Johnson: Adventurer #131 (February 5, 1754)
1,817. Culture; Custom
"National manners are formed by chance."
Johnson: Idler #87 (December 15, 1759)