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Samuel Johnson Quotes

About Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson

Life: 1709 - 1784

Country: gb flag England

Profession: Critic; Writer;

Samuel Johnson LL.D. MA (September 18 [O.S. September 7] 1709 - 13 December 1784), often referred to simply as Dr Johnson, is one of England's best known literary figures: an essayist, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English Literature. He was also a great wit and prose stylist, well known for his aphorisms. Dr Johnson is the most quoted English writer after Shakespeare and has been described as one of the outstanding figures of 18th-century England.

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Quotations

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.

~ Samuel Johnson

- The Idler, 1759

Everything that enlarges the sphere of human powers, that shows man he can do what he thought he could not do, is valuable.

~ Samuel Johnson

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

~ Samuel Johnson

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.

~ Samuel Johnson

I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.

~ Samuel Johnson

- in James Boswell, Life of Johnson, April 15, 1778

I am a great friend to public amusements, for they keep people from vice.

~ Samuel Johnson

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.

~ Samuel Johnson

Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.

~ Samuel Johnson

... generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition.

~ Samuel Johnson

Avarice is always poor.

~ Samuel Johnson

He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.

~ Samuel Johnson

There are charms made only for distant admiration.

~ Samuel Johnson

The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.

~ Samuel Johnson

Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.

~ Samuel Johnson

The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.

~ Samuel Johnson

The lustre of diamonds is invigorated by the interposition of darker bodies; the lights of a picture are created by the shades; the highest pleasure which nature has indulged to sensitive perception is that of rest after fatigue.

~ Samuel Johnson

Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing.

~ Samuel Johnson

Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.

~ Samuel Johnson

The difference between coarse and refined abuse is the difference between being bruised by a club and wounded by a poisoned arrow.

~ Samuel Johnson

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.

~ Samuel Johnson

No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance.

~ Samuel Johnson

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

~ Samuel Johnson

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill ... Great works are performed, not by strength, but perseverance.

~ Samuel Johnson

Disease is a physical process that generally begins that equality which death completes.

~ Samuel Johnson

Without economy none can be rich, and with it few will be poor.

~ Samuel Johnson

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.

~ Samuel Johnson

The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.

~ Samuel Johnson

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

~ Samuel Johnson

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.

~ Samuel Johnson

Guilt once harbored in the conscious breast, intimidates the brave, degrades the great.

~ Samuel Johnson

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

~ Samuel Johnson

There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.

~ Samuel Johnson

Money and time are the heaviest burdens in life: and among mortals, those who are most unhappy are the ones who have more than they need.

~ Samuel Johnson

Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.

~ Samuel Johnson

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

~ Samuel Johnson

Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.

~ Samuel Johnson

To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others and his idleness from himself.

~ Samuel Johnson

Ignorance cannot always be inferred from inaccuracy; knowledge is not always present.

~ Samuel Johnson

Were it not for imagination, a man would be as happy in the arms of a chambermaid as a dutchess.

~ Samuel Johnson

No man ever yet became great by imitation.

~ Samuel Johnson

He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.

~ Samuel Johnson

No two men can be half an hour together but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.

~ Samuel Johnson
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