Best quotes by the English Author Samuel Johnson

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The chains of habit are generally too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, rather, a manner of traveling. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The future is purchased by the present. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I hate mankind, for I think of myself as one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. SAMUEL JOHNSON



Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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

He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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

Suspicion is most often useless pain. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Sir, I have found you an argument. I am not obliged to find you an understanding. SAMUEL JOHNSON

A wicked fellow is the most pious when he takes to it. He'll beat you all at piety. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The habit of looking on the best side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a years. SAMUEL JOHNSON

There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity. SAMUEL JOHNSON

No one ever became great by imitation. SAMUEL JOHNSON

To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything. SAMUEL JOHNSON

As peace is the end of war, so to be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy. SAMUEL JOHNSON

What is read twice is usually remembered more than what is once written. SAMUEL JOHNSON

When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance. SAMUEL JOHNSON

If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle. SAMUEL JOHNSON

A fly may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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. SAMUEL JOHNSON


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Samuel Johnson life quotes

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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

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. SAMUEL JOHNSON

He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many fold in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent. SAMUEL JOHNSON

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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
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Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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Samuel Johnson knowledge quotes

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Knowledge is more than equivalent to force. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it. SAMUEL JOHNSON

All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Knowledge always demands increase; it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but will afterwards always propagate itself. SAMUEL JOHNSON

More knowledge may be gained of a man's real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative, begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference. As gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich, so knowledge which cannot apply will make no man wise. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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Samuel Johnson writing quotes

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The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much. SAMUEL JOHNSON

In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

In a man's letters you know, Madam, his soul lies naked, his letters are only the mirror of his breast, whatever passes within him is shown undisguised in its natural process. Nothing is inverted, nothing distorted, you see systems in their elements, you discover actions in their motives. SAMUEL JOHNSON

A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation -- a proof of unwillingness to do much, even where there is a necessity of doing something. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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Samuel Johnson happiness quotes

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Happiness is not a state to arrive at, rather, a manner of traveling. SAMUEL JOHNSON

To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

We are long before 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

Sir, that all who are happy, are equally happy, is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness. SAMUEL JOHNSON

For who is pleased with himself. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government other than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual. SAMUEL JOHNSON

We are long before 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
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Samuel Johnson friends quotes

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To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The endearing elegance of female friendship. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance. 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

Never, my dear Sir, do you take it into your head that I do not love you; you may settle yourself in full confidence both of my love and my esteem; I love you as a kind man, I value you as a worthy man, and hope in time to reverence you as a man of exemplary piety. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay, or dislike hourly increased by causes too slender for complaint, and too numerous for removal. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Friendship, 'the wine of life,' said Boswell, should, like a well-stocked cellar, be thus continually renewed. And Dr. Johnson added to this A man, Sir, should keep his friendships in constant repair. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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More quotes by Samuel Johnson

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He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The majority have no other reason for their opinions than that they are the fashion. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Distance has the same effect on the mind as on the eye. SAMUEL JOHNSON



To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly. SAMUEL JOHNSON

It is better to live rich, than to die rich. SAMUEL JOHNSON

It generally happens that assurance keeps an even pace with ability. SAMUEL JOHNSON

We are inclined to believe those whom we don not know because they have never deceived us. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage. SAMUEL JOHNSON

He was dull in a new way, and that made many think him great. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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

If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it? SAMUEL JOHNSON

He who praises everybody, praises nobody. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Prejudice not being funded on reason cannot be removed by argument. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Revenge is the act of passion, vengeance is an act of justice. SAMUEL JOHNSON

We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Worth seeing? Yes; but not worth going to see. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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

He who praises every body, praises nobody. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. SAMUEL JOHNSON

He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly become corrupt. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Shame arises from the fear of men, conscience from the fear of God. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The endearing elegance of female friendship. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Knowledge is more than equivalent to force. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Labor, if it were not necessary for existence, would be indispensable for the happiness of man. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes, than a public library. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Prudence is an attitude that keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Sorrow is the rust of the soul and activity will cleanse and brighten it. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain. SAMUEL JOHNSON

It is better that some should be unhappy rather than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk. SAMUEL JOHNSON

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Tomorrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with. SAMUEL JOHNSON
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Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

It is not from reason and prudence that people marry, but from inclination. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Whatever you have spend less. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o clock is a scoundrel. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Pleasure that is obtained by unreasonable and unsuitable cost, must always end in pain. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Some people wave their dogmatic thinking until their own reason is entangled. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Security will produce danger. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Nay, Madam, when you are declaiming, declaim; and when you are calculating, calculate. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience. You will find it a calamity. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Wickedness is always easier than virtue, for it takes a short cut to everything. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing. SAMUEL JOHNSON

No member of society has the right to teach any doctrine contrary to what society holds to be true. SAMUEL JOHNSON

There are charms made only for distance admiration. SAMUEL JOHNSON

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Christianity is the highest perfection of humanity. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Prepare for death, if here at night you roam, and sign your will before you sup from home. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

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

Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Go into the street, and give one man a lecture on morality, and another a shilling, and see which will respect you most. 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

Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Our tastes greatly alter. The lad does not care for the child's rattle, and the old man does not care for the young man's whore. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

Were it not for imagination a man would be as happy in arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess. SAMUEL JOHNSON

No man was ever great by imitation. SAMUEL JOHNSON

I found you essay to be good and original. However, the part that was original was not good and the part that was good was not original. SAMUEL JOHNSON

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The wretched have no compassion, they can do good only from strong principles of duty. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it. SAMUEL JOHNSON

All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price. SAMUEL JOHNSON

By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by showing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The true art of memory is the art of attention. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea. SAMUEL JOHNSON

There are few minds to which tyranny is not delightful. SAMUEL JOHNSON

That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades the sacred hour of silent rest and leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast. SAMUEL JOHNSON

It is the only sensual pleasure without vice. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Much may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Pain is less subject than pleasure to careless expression. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Many things difficult in design prove easy in performance. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all. SAMUEL JOHNSON

He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood. SAMUEL JOHNSON

What ever the motive for the insult, it is always best to overlook it; for folly doesn't deserve resentment, and malice is punished by neglect. SAMUEL JOHNSON

The happiest part of a man's life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Round numbers are always false. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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

When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. SAMUEL JOHNSON

In traveling, a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge. SAMUEL JOHNSON

So many objections may be made to everything, that nothing can overcome them but the necessity of doing something. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Language is the dress of thought. SAMUEL JOHNSON

Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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


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