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Samuel Johnson Quotes and Quotations


(Adversity is) the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free from admirers then.
- Samuel Johnson | Adversity Quotes
Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.
- Samuel Johnson | Advertising Quotes
A lexicographer, a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
- Samuel Johnson | Books and Reading Quotes
Dictionaries are like watches. The worst is better than none at all and even the best cannot be expected to run quite true.
- Samuel Johnson | Books and Reading Quotes
No member of a society has a right to teach any doctrine contrary to what society holds to be true.
- Samuel Johnson | Censorship Quotes
Shame arises from the fear of man; conscience from the fear of God.
- Samuel Johnson | Conscience Quotes
That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm quiet interchange of sentiments.
- Samuel Johnson | Conversation Quotes
John Wesley's conversation is good, but he is never at leisure. He is always obliged to go at a certain hour. This is very disagreeable to a man who loves to fold his legs and have his talk out as I do.
- Samuel Johnson | Conversation Quotes
Every man who attacks my belief diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy, and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy.
- Samuel Johnson | Conviction and Belief Quotes
Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.
- Samuel Johnson | Courage and Bravery Quotes
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
- Samuel Johnson | Habit and Tradition Quotes
Moderation is commonly firm, and firmness is commonly successful.
Abstinence is as easy for me as temperance would be difficult.
One of the disadvantages of wine is that is makes a man mistake words for thoughts.
There is less flogging in our great schools than formerly, but then less is learned there; so that what the boys get at one end they lose at the other.
- Samuel Johnson | Education Quotes
A tavern chair is the throne of human felicity.
A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.
- Samuel Johnson | Food Quotes
None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence.
- Samuel Johnson | Fools and Foolishness Quotes
A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.
The future is purchased by the present.
- Samuel Johnson | The Future Quotes
The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
- Samuel Johnson | Genius Quotes
I have found men more kind than I expected, and less just.
- Samuel Johnson | Goodness and Giving Quotes
Is not a patron one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?
- Samuel Johnson | Goodness and Giving Quotes
A man should be careful never to tell tales of himself to his own disadvantage. People may be amused at the time, but they will be remembered, and brought out against him upon some subsequent occasion.
- Samuel Johnson | Honesty Quotes
Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.
- Samuel Johnson | Hope Quotes
No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.
- Samuel Johnson | Hypocrisy Quotes
Were it not for imagination, a man would be as happy in the arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess.
- Samuel Johnson | Imagination Quotes
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
- Samuel Johnson | Imitation Quotes
A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other a horse still.
- Samuel Johnson | Insults and Calumny Quotes
Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
- Samuel Johnson | Knowledge Quotes
A man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.
- Samuel Johnson | Knowledge Quotes
Man is not weak - knowledge is more than equivalent to force. The master of mechanics laughs at strength.
- Samuel Johnson | Knowledge Quotes
It is the just doom of laziness and a gluttony to be inactive without ease, and drowsy without tranquillity.
- Samuel Johnson | Laziness Quotes
I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him; you have no business with consequences, you are to tell the truth.
- Samuel Johnson | Liars and Lying Quotes
The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be renewed by intervals of absence.
- Samuel Johnson | Life Quotes
Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
- Samuel Johnson | Life Quotes
Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
- Samuel Johnson | Marriage Quotes
Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it.
- Samuel Johnson | Marriage Quotes
Marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor.
- Samuel Johnson | Marriage Quotes
It is unjust to claim the privileges of age and retain the playthings of childhood.
- Samuel Johnson | Maturity Quotes
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
- Samuel Johnson | Memory Quotes
As the faculty of writing has chiefly been a masculine endowment, the reproach of making the world miserable has always been thrown upon the women.
- Samuel Johnson | Men and Women Quotes
Had I learned to fiddle, I should have done nothing else.
- Samuel Johnson | Music Quotes
Never speak of a man in his own presence. It is always indelicate, and may be offensive .
Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
- Samuel Johnson | Praise and Flattery Quotes
Pride is seldom delicate: it will please itself with very mean advantages.
- Samuel Johnson | Pride Quotes
Oats, n.s. A grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.
- Samuel Johnson | Quips and Comments Quotes
Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire.
- Samuel Johnson | Retirement Quotes
Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
- Samuel Johnson | The Sea Quotes
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.
- Samuel Johnson | Silence Quotes
The poor and the busy have no leisure for sentimental sorrow.
- Samuel Johnson | Sorrow Quotes
While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert it only irritates.
- Samuel Johnson | Sorrow Quotes
When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
- Samuel Johnson | Thinking and Thought Quotes
As the Spanish proverb says, 'He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.' So it is with traveling. A man must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home knowledge.
- Samuel Johnson | Travel and Travellers Quotes
It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
- Samuel Johnson | Trust Quotes
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks is truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.
- Samuel Johnson | Truth Quotes
It is better to live rich than to die rich.
- Samuel Johnson | Wealth Quotes
Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.
- Samuel Johnson | Women Quotes
Languages are the pedigree of nations.
- Samuel Johnson | Words and Language Quotes
Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
The best part of every author is in general to be found in his book, I assure you.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
When an author is yet living, we estimate his powers by his worst performance; and when he is dead, we rate them by his best.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
The man who is asked by an author what he thinks of his work is put to the torture and is not obliged to speak the truth.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
- Samuel Johnson | Writers and Writing Quotes
Much may be made of a Scotchman if he be caught young.
- Samuel Johnson | Youth Quotes
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
It is by studying little things that we attain the great knowledge of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
There is certainly no greater happiness than to be able to look back on a life usefully and virtuously employed, to trace our own progress in existence by such tokens as excite neither shame nor sorrow.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing; when we have made it the next wish is to change again.
- Samuel Johnson | Happiness Quotes
Very few live by choice. Every man is placed in his present condition by causes which acted without his foresight, and with which he did not always willingly cooperate; and therefore you will rarely meet one who does not think the lot of his neighbor better than his own.
- Samuel Johnson | Acceptance Quotes
The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
- Samuel Johnson | Forgiveness Quotes
Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
- Samuel Johnson | Forgiveness Quotes
Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.
- Samuel Johnson | Forgiveness Quotes
It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote.
- Samuel Johnson | Other Side Quotes
We are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.
- Samuel Johnson | Other Side Quotes
Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
- Samuel Johnson | Helping Other People Quotes
The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef, love, like being enlivened with champagne.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
It is foolish to make experiments upon the constancy of a friend, as upon the chastity of a wife.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
No man is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, his fondness of himself.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
Always set high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
Friendship is seldom lasting but between equals, or where the superiority on one side is reduced by some equivalent advantage on the other.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
Friendship is a union of spirits, a marriage of hearts, and the bond there of virtue.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
That friendship may be at once fond and lasting, there must not only be equal virtue on each part, but virtue of the same kind; not only the same end must be proposed, but the same means must be approved by both.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
Men only become friends by community of pleasures.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions.
- Samuel Johnson | Self-Control Quotes
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
- Samuel Johnson | Self-Confidence Quotes
If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards.
- Samuel Johnson | Simplicity Quotes
An Italian philosopher said that "time was his estate"; an estate indeed which will produce nothing without cultivation, but will always abundantly repay the labors of industry, and generally satisfy the most extensive desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie in waste by negligence, to be overrun with noxious plants, or laid out for show rather than for use.
- Samuel Johnson | One Day Quotes
No mind is much employed upon the present; recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments.
- Samuel Johnson | The Present Quotes
The present time is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with immediate enjoyment, and we are forced to supply its deficiencies by recollection or anticipation.
- Samuel Johnson | The Present Quotes
Present opportunities are neglected, and attainable good is slighted, by minds busied in extensive ranges and intent upon future advantages.
- Samuel Johnson | The Present Quotes
It seems to be the fate of man to seek all his consolations in futurity.
- Samuel Johnson | The Present Quotes
Clear your mind of "can't."
- Samuel Johnson | Positive Quotes
Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.
- Samuel Johnson | Hope Quotes
In all pleasure hope is a considerable part.
- Samuel Johnson | Hope Quotes
Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, sickness and captivity would, without this comfort, be insupportable.
- Samuel Johnson | Hope Quotes
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
- Samuel Johnson | Role Models Quotes
None are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again.
Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing. When we have made it, the next wish is to change again.
Nothing at all will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
- Samuel Johnson | Decisions Quotes
O, how vain and vile a passion is this fear! What base, uncomely things it makes men do.
- Samuel Johnson | Fear Quotes
When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four.
- Samuel Johnson | Worry Quotes
Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.
- Samuel Johnson | Security Quotes
Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.
- Samuel Johnson | Risks Quotes
Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven't courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.
- Samuel Johnson | Courage Quotes
Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue that it is always respected even when it is associated with vice.
- Samuel Johnson | Courage Quotes
Nothing at all will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
- Samuel Johnson | Getting Going Quotes
Our desires always increase with our possessions. The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
- Samuel Johnson | Success Quotes
Present opportunities are neglected, and attainable good is slighted, by minds busied in extensive ranges and intent upon future advantages.
- Samuel Johnson | Opportunity Quotes
To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.
- Samuel Johnson | Opportunity Quotes
A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of everything.
- Samuel Johnson | Concentration Quotes
When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
- Samuel Johnson | Concentration Quotes
Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.
- Samuel Johnson | Perseverance Quotes
Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties.
- Samuel Johnson | Problems Quotes
He that has much to do will do something wrong.
- Samuel Johnson | Failures and Mistakes Quotes
Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being free from flatterers.
- Samuel Johnson | Adversity Quotes
He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.
- Samuel Johnson | Adversity Quotes
Adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is most beneficial to us.
- Samuel Johnson | Adversity Quotes
To hear complaints is wearisome to the wretched and the happy alike.
- Samuel Johnson | Self-Pity Quotes
When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints.
- Samuel Johnson | Self-Pity Quotes
Despair is criminal.
- Samuel Johnson | Self-Pity Quotes
Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
- Samuel Johnson | Passion Quotes
The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.
- Samuel Johnson | Life Quotes
The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.
- Samuel Johnson | Applause Quotes
The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give. For we that live to please, must please to live.
- Samuel Johnson | Acting Quotes
He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.
- Samuel Johnson | Charity Quotes
The life of a conscientious clergyman is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls.
- Samuel Johnson | Clergyman Quotes
The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.
- Samuel Johnson | Complaining Quotes
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
- Samuel Johnson | Curiosity Quotes
Our desires always increase with our possessions. The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
- Samuel Johnson | Desire Quotes
Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
- Samuel Johnson | Difficulty Quotes
For a man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
- Samuel Johnson | Eating Quotes
Your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves, but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.
- Samuel Johnson | Equality Quotes
Example is more efficacious than precept.
- Samuel Johnson | Example Quotes
Round numbers are always false.
- Samuel Johnson | Falsehood Quotes
A fishing-rod was a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other.
- Samuel Johnson | Fish Quotes
Men are like stone jugs - you may lug them where you like by the ears.
- Samuel Johnson | Flattery Quotes
Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven, The noble mind's delight and pride, To men and angels only given, To all the lower world denied.
- Samuel Johnson | Friendship Quotes
No man ever yet became great by imitation.
- Samuel Johnson | Greatness Quotes
I like a good hater.
- Samuel Johnson | Hate Quotes
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.
- Samuel Johnson | Impossibility Quotes
Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
- Samuel Johnson | Knowledge Quotes
In a man's letters his soul lies naked.
- Samuel Johnson | Letter Quotes
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
- Samuel Johnson | Memory Quotes
Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.
- Samuel Johnson | Merriment Quotes
The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
- Samuel Johnson | Mind Quotes
He left the name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
- Samuel Johnson | Name Quotes
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
- Samuel Johnson | Patriotism Quotes
Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well: but you are surprised to find it done at all.
- Samuel Johnson | Preaching Quotes
The first years of man must make provision for the last.
- Samuel Johnson | Prudence Quotes
Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
- Samuel Johnson | Question Quotes
To be of no Church is dangerous.
- Samuel Johnson | Religion Quotes
The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.
- Samuel Johnson | Royalty Quotes
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.
- Samuel Johnson | Speech Quotes
If the man who turnips cries, Cry not when his father dies, 'Tis proof that he had rather Have a turnip than his father.
- Samuel Johnson | Tears Quotes
A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments.
- Samuel Johnson | Thrift Quotes
As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in traveling: a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.
- Samuel Johnson | Traveling Quotes
Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better.
- Samuel Johnson | Wealth Quotes
When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.
- Samuel Johnson | Weather Quotes
Alas! another instance of the triumph of hope over experience.
- Samuel Johnson | Wife Quotes
Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
- Samuel Johnson | Wine and Spirits Quotes
I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
- Samuel Johnson | Word Quotes
It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
- Samuel Johnson | Wrong Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
- Samuel Johnson | Friend Quotes


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