1. To fix the thoughts by writing, and subject them to frequent examinations and reviews, is the best method of enabling the mind to detect its own sophisms, and keep it on guard against the fallacies which it practices on others

    48
  2. Allegories drawn to great length will always break.

    12
  3. 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.

    7
  4. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    7
  5. It is advantageous to an author that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends.

    6
  6. You may translate books of science exactly. ... The beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written.

    6
  7. In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.

    5
  8. To read, write, and converse in due proportions, is, therefore, the business of a man of letters.

    5
  9. A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.

    5
  10. 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.

    4

The complete list of 1736 Samuel Johnson sayings