Famous Quotes & Sayings

Samuel Johnson Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Samuel Johnson.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Samuel Johnson Quotes 797885

The work of a correct and regular writer is a garden accurately formed and diligently planted, varied with shades, and scented with flowers. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1270483

A man who always talks for fame never can be pleasing. The man who talks to unburthen his mind is the man to delight you. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1861048

Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him more pleasing to others. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 118826

In bed we laugh, in bed we cry, and born in bed, in bed we die; the near approach a bed may show of human bliss to human woe. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1068327

He who makes a beast out of himself removes himself from the pain of being human — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 495743

But to the particular species of excellence men are directed, not by an ascendant planet or predominating humour, but by the first book which they read, some early conversation which they heard, or some accident which excited ardour and emulation. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1666098

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1221650

Extended empires are like expanded gold, exchanging solid strength for feeble splendor. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 551289

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 168586

For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1153707

That observation which is called knowledge of the world will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1035645

Wasting a fortune is evaporation by a thousand imperceptible means. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1350956

Keeping accounts, sir, is of no use when a man is spending his own money, and has nobody to whom he is to account. You won't eat less beef today because you have written down what it cost yesterday. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1014333

I wish you would add an index rerum, that when the reader recollects any incident he may easily find it. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1803632

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1479648

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. The flowers which scatter their odours from time to time in the paths of life, grow up without culture from seeds scattered by chance. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 857360

The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1257922

Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 762473

We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1219791

Nothing is more common than to find men, whose works are now totally neglected, mentioned with praises by their contemporaries as the oracles of their age, and the legislators of science. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 891262

Moral sentences appear ostentatious and tumid, when they have no greater occasions than the journey of a wit to his home town: yet such pleasures and such pains make up the general mass of life; and as nothing is little to him that feels it with gre — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 655654

In sovereignty there are no gradations. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 138650

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1807425

Every state of society is as luxurious as it can be. Men always take the best they can get. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1606648

Hoc age ['do this'] is the great rule, whether you are serious or merry; whether ... learning science or duty from a folio, or floating on the Thames. Intentions must be gathered from acts. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1580043

The student who would build his knowledge on solid foundations, and proceed by just degrees to the pinnacles of truth, is directed by the great philosopher of France to begin by doubting of his own existence. In like manner, whoever would complete any arduous and intricate enterprise, should, as soon as his imagination can cool after the first blaze of hope, place before his own eyes every possible embarrassment that may retard or defeat him. He should first question the probability of success, and then endeavour to remove the objections that he has raised. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1688263

Life protracted is protracted woe. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 746509

Admiration must be continued by that novelty which first produces it; and how much soever is given, there must always be reason to imagine that more remains. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 570305

Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1556397

I live in the crowd of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1560114

Where no man thinks himself under any obligation to submit to another, and, instead of co-operating in one great scheme, every one hastens through by-paths to private profit, no great change can suddenly be made; nor is superior knowledge of much effect, where every man resolves to use his own eyes and his own judgment, and every one applauds his own dexterity and diligence, in proportion as he becomes rich sooner than his neighbour. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 194335

Everybody loves to have things which please the palate put in their way, without trouble or preparation. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 209136

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

Samuel Johnson Quotes 240555

Occupation alone is happiness. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 246634

They that have grown old in a single state are generally found to be morose, fretful and captious; tenacious of their own practices and maxims; soon offended by contradiction or negligence; and impatient of any association but with those that will watch their nod, and submit themselves to unlimited authority. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 260419

Youth enters the world with very happy prejudices in her own favour. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 282921

Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in battle. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 297376

Nobody can write the life of a man but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 301825

If you want to be a writer, then write. Write every day! — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 465919

Sir, when you have seen one green field, you have seen all green fields. Let us walk down Cheapside. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 470697

The world is seldom what it seems; to man, who dimly sees, realities appear as dreams, and dreams realities. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 472573

Age looks with anger on the temerity of youth, and youth with contempt on the scrupulosity of age. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 559125

The life of a solitary man will be certainly miserable, but not certainly devout. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 565277

I would rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 597168

It ought to be the first endeavour of a writer to distinguish nature from custom; or that which is established because it is right, from that which is right only because it is established; that he may neither violate essential principles by a desire of novelty, nor debar himself from the attainment of beauties within his view, by a needless fear of breaking rules which no literary dictator had authority to enact. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 674040

stoodAloof from streets, encompass'd with a wood.Dryden.2. Applied to persons, it often insinuates caution and circumspection. Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel,And make the cowards stand aloof at bay.Shak.Henry VI. Going northwards, aloof, as long as they had any doubt of being pursued, at last when they were out of reach, they turned and crossed the ocean to Spain.Bacon. The king would not, by any means, enter the city, until he had aloof seen the cross set up upon the greater tower of Granada, whereby it became Christian ground.Bacon'sHen. VII. Two pots stood by a river, one of brass, the other of clay. The water carried them away; the earthen vessel kept aloof from t'other.L'Estrange'sFables. The strong may fight aloof; Ancaeus try'dHis force too — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 686039

It is very common for us to desire most what we are least qualified to obtain. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 700401

Like an image in a dream the world is troubled by love, hatred, and other poisons. So long as the dream lasts, the image appears to be real; but on awaking it vanishes. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 717646

No one is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, their fondness for themselves. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 723195

Smoking is a shocking thing - blowing smoke out of our mouths into other people's mouths, eyes, and noses, and having the same thing done to us. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 788817

I never have sought the world;
the world was not to seek me. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 799042

Every man has a lurking wish to appear considerable in his native place. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 831005

The love of retirement has in all ages adhered closely to those minds which have been most enlarged by knowledge, or elevated by genius. Those who enjoyed everything generally supposed to confer happiness have been forced to seek it in the shades of privacy. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 870310

Better to save a citizen than to kill an enemy. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 904466

Still we love
The evil we do, until we suffer it. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 925445

To bring back riches from the East you must bring riches with you. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 984688

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 992806

We may have many acquaintances, but we can have but few friends; this made Aristotle say that he that hath many friends hath none. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1036935

The gratification which affluence of wealth, extent of power, and eminence of reputation confer, must be always, by their own nature, confined to a very small number; and the life of the greater part of mankind must be lost in empty wishes and painful comparisons, were not the balm of philosophy shed upon us, and our discontent at the appearances of unequal distribution soothed and appeased. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1052429

There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1077246

Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1110684

Whatever advantage we snatch beyond a certain portion allotted us by at nature, is like money spent before it is due, which, at the time of regular payment, will be missed and regretted. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1192713

Perhaps the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in a few words.
We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because, for a time, they are not remembered; and he may therefore be justly numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1198464

Depend upon it, sir, it is when you come close to a man in conservation that you discover what his real abilities are; to make a speech in a public assembly is a knack. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1199102

A successful author is equally in danger of the diminution of his fame, whether he continues or ceases to write. The regard of the public is not to be kept but by tribute, and the remembrance of past service will quickly languish unless successive performances frequently revive it. Yet in every new attempt there is new hazard, and there are few who do not, at some unlucky time, injure their own characters by attempting to enlarge them. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1264467

Words become low by the occasions to which they are applied, or the general character of them who use them; and the disgust which they produce arises from the revival of those images with which they are commonly united. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1305388

To talk in public, to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire and answer inquiries, is the business of the scholar — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1312627

How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find: — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1317607

Our senses, our appetites, and our passions, are our lawful and faithful guides, in most things that relate solely to this life; and, therefore, by the hourly necessity of consulting them, we gradually sink into an implicit submission, and habitual confidence. Every act of compliance with their motions facilitates a second compliance, every new step towards depravity is made with less reluctance than the former, and thus the descent to life merely sensual is perpetually accelerated. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1377115

Few of those who fill the world with books, have any pretensions to the hope either of pleasing or instructing. They have often no other task than to lay two books before them, out of which they compile a third, without any new material of their own, and with very little application of judgment to those which former authors have supplied. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1396412

Nothing has so exposed men of learning to contempt and ridicule as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves. Those who have been taught to consider the institutions of the schools as giving the last perfection to human abilities are surprised to see men wrinkled with study, yet wanting to be instructed in the minute circumstances of propriety, or the necessary form of daily transaction; and quickly shake off their reverence for modes of education which they find to produce no ability above the rest of mankind. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1401737

When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1425580

I wish there were some cure, like the lover's leap, for all heads of which some single idea has obtained an unreasonable and irregular possession. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1438825

The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1487769

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

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1517950

Composition is for the most part an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1537388

When any anxiety or gloom of the mind takes hold of you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaining; but exert yourselves to hide it, and by endeavoring to hide it you drive it away. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1539551

A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1559584

To neglect at any time preparation for death is to sleep on our post at a siege; to omit it in old age is to sleep at an attack. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1581407

Such is the uncertainty of human affairs, that security and despair are equal follies; and as it is presumption and arrogance to anticipate triumphs, it is weakness and cowardice to prog-nosticate miscarriages. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1595416

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1610400

It will not always happen that the success of a poet is proportionate to his labor. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1707668

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1711839

You cannot, by all the lecturing in the world, enable a man to make a shoe. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1712047

He who endeavors to please must appear pleased. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1773792

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1779274

A secret in his mouth, is like a wild bird put into a cage; whose door no sooner opens, but 'tis out. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1882745

Sir, he [Bolingbroke] was a scoundrel and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotsman to draw the trigger at his death. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1905602

To forget, or pretend to do so, to return a borrowed article, is the meanest sort of petty theft. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1925329

I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the lord chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 1998874

Wealth is nothing in itself; it is not useful but when it departs from us. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2026427

Poetry cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2032866

APHETA (APHE'TA) n.s.[with astrologers.] The name of the plant, which is imagined to be the giver or disposer of life in a nativity.Dict. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2055062

Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are, in the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver; and the act by which kindness was sought puts an end to confidence. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2073466

Such is the emptiness of human enjoyment that we are always impatient of the present. Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2097588

A coxcomb is ugly all over with the effectation of a fine gentleman. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2142656

By forbearing to do what may innocently be done, we may add hourly new vigor to resolution. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2191010

An author places himself uncalled before the tribunal of criticism and solicits fame at the hazard of disgrace. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2222441

He ended, and his words impression leftOf much amazement to th' infernal crew,Distracted and surpris'd with deep dismayAt these sad tidings.Milton'sParadise Regained,b. i.3. — Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson Quotes 2252420

Marriage is the best state for man in general, and every man is a worst man in proportion to the level he is unfit for marriage. — Samuel Johnson