Samuel Johnson Quotes

Samuel Johnson Quotes…
Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.

He lived in the 18th century and is often regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of England. Johnson attended Pembroke College at the University of Oxford but due to financial difficulties he had to drop out and he became a teacher, before becoming the editor of a magazine in London. One of his early works is ‘Life of Mr. Richard Savage’. Later, he went on to write poems which were very well received by people. Some of his well-known poems include, ‘The Vanity of Human Flesh’, ‘London’, ‘Prologue at the Opening of the Theatre in Drury Lane’ and other works like ‘Lives of the Poets’, ‘Preface to the Plays of William Shakespeare’, ‘The History of Rasselas’, ‘Prince of Abissinia’ and ‘Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of Macbeth’ among many others. He was quite rightly regarded as among the finest men of letters in English history; however one of his most important contributions to the English language was ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’, which he compiled over a period of 9 years and is regarded as one of his distinguished works. We bring to you a treasure trove of quotes that have been excerpted from his novels, books, essays, poems and writings.

Samuel Johnson Quotes

Language is the dress of thought.


Words are but the signs of ideas.


The future is purchased by the present.


It is better to live rich than to die rich.


What is easy is seldom excellent.

Samuel Johnson Quotes

No man was ever great by imitation.


Exercise is labor without weariness.


Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.


My dear friend, clear your mind of cant.


The true art of memory is the art of attention.


Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.


Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.


When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.


A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.


Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.


He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.


Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.


Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.


Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content.


Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.


Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.

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What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.


The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down.


The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.


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


There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.


It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.


Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.


He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.


Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.


When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.


Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.


Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.


Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.


The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.


No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.


Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.


Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.


Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.


It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.


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.


Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.


It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.


Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.


The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.


Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.


If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.


To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.


If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.


Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.


You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.


There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.


The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it, but is always breaking away from the present moment, and losing itself in schemes of future felicity… The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.


No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned… a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.


“Ireland is known by tradition to have been once the seat of piety and learning; and surely it would be very acceptable to all those who are curious either in the original of nations, or the affinities of languages, to be further informed of the revolutions of a people so ancient, and once so illustrious”.

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