Samuel Johnson Quotes & Wallpapers

Samuel Johnson
Total Quotes: 2311


There is scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his reader with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets. Samuel Johnson
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The traveler that resolutely follows a rough and winding path will sooner reach the end of his journey than he that is always changing his direction, and wastes the hour of daylight in looking for smoother ground and shorter passages. Samuel Johnson
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From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,- Path, motive, guide, original, and end. Samuel Johnson
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The complaint, therefore, that all topicks are preoccupied, is nothing more than the murmur of ignorance or idleness, by which some discourage others, and some themselves; the mutability of mankind will always furnish writers with new images, and the luxuriance of fancy may always embellish them with new decorations. Samuel Johnson
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Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present. Samuel Johnson
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The mischief of flattery is, not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honour may be gained without the toil of merit. Samuel Johnson
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Men who stand in the highest ranks of society seldom hear of their faults; if by any accident an opprobrious clamour reaches their ears, flattery is always at hand to pour in her opiates, to quiet conviction and obtund remorse. Samuel Johnson
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My dear friend, clear your mind of can't. Samuel Johnson
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Knowledge is praised and desired by multitudes whom her charms could never rouse from the couch of sloth; whom the faintest invitation of pleasure draws away from their studies; to whom any other method of wearing the day is more eligible than the use of books, and who are more easily engaged by any conversation than such as may rectify their notions or enlarge their comprehension. Samuel Johnson
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It may be observed in general that the future is purchased by the present. It is not possible to secure distant or permanent happiness but by the forbearance of some immediate gratification. Samuel Johnson
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Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler. Samuel Johnson
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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
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Want of tenderness is want of parts, and is no less a proof of stupidity than depravity. Samuel Johnson
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In solitude we have our dreams to ourselves, and in company we agree to dream in concert. Samuel Johnson
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It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. Samuel Johnson
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There are in every age new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed. Samuel Johnson
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Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy. Samuel Johnson
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In traveling, a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge. Samuel Johnson
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Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. Samuel Johnson
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Deviation from Nature is deviation from happiness. Samuel Johnson
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I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of the earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they denote. Samuel Johnson
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Difference of thoughts will produce difference of language. He that thinks with more extent than another, will want words of a larger meaning; he that thinks with more subtilty will seek for terms of more nice discrimination; and where is the wonder, since words are but the images of things, that he who never knew the original should not know the copies? Samuel Johnson
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Too much nicety of detail disgusts the greatest part of readers, and to throw a multitude of particulars under general heads, and lay down rules of extensive comprehension, is to common understandings of little use. Samuel Johnson
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No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library; for who can see the wall crowded on every side by mighty volumes, the works of laborious meditations and accurate inquiry, now scarcely known but by the catalogue... Samuel Johnson
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One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts. Samuel Johnson
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Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed. Samuel Johnson
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Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent. Samuel Johnson
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Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions. Samuel Johnson
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The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery. Samuel Johnson
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I will be conquered; I will not capitulate. Samuel Johnson
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No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction. Samuel Johnson
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I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just. Samuel Johnson
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It is dangerous for mortal beauty, or terrestrial virtue, to be examined by too strong a light. The torch of Truth shows much that we cannot, and all that we would not, see. Samuel Johnson
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In order that all men may be taught to speak the truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it. Samuel Johnson
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The chief glory of every people arises from its authors. Samuel Johnson
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All the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil show it evidently to be a great evil. Samuel Johnson
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Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. Samuel Johnson
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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. Samuel Johnson
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In all pleasures hope is a considerable part. Samuel Johnson
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Then with no throbs of fiery pain, No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way. Samuel Johnson
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I never have sought the world; the world was not to seek me. Samuel Johnson
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How small of all that human hearts endure/That part which laws or kings can cause or cure. Samuel Johnson
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Virtue is too often merely local. Samuel Johnson
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Politeness is fictitious benevolence. Samuel Johnson
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We may have uneasy feelings for seeing a creature in distress without pity; for we have not pity unless we wish to relieve them. Samuel Johnson
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He that never thinks can never be wise. Samuel Johnson
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None but those who have learned the art of subjecting their senses as well as reason to hypothetical systems can be persuaded by the most specious rhetorician that the lots of life are equal; yet it cannot be denied that every one has his peculiar pleasures and vexations, that external accidents operate variously upon different minds, and that no man can exactly judge from his own sensations what another would feel in the same circumstances. Samuel Johnson
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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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Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious. Samuel Johnson
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None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence. Samuel Johnson
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Curiosity, like all other desires, produces pain as well as pleasure. Samuel Johnson
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Nothing is more common than for men to make partial and absurd distinctions between vices of equal enormity, and to observe some of the divine commands with great scrupulousness, while they violate others, equally important, without any concern, or the least apparent conciousness of guilt. Alas, it is only wisdom which perceives this tragedy. Samuel Johnson
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The common people do not accurately adapt their thoughts to objects; nor, secondly, do they accurately adapt their words to their thoughts; they do not mean to lie; but, taking no pains to be exact, they give you very false accounts. A great part of their language is proverbial; if anything rocks at all, they say it rocks like a cradle; and in this way they go on. Samuel Johnson
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The fortitude which has encountered no dangers, that prudence which has surmounted no difficulties, that integrity which has been attacked by no temptation, can at best be considered but as gold not yet brought to the test, of which therefore the true value cannot be assigned. Samuel Johnson
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Care that is once enter'd into the breast Will have the whole possession ere it rest. Samuel Johnson
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Oratory is the power of beating down your adversary's arguments and putting better in their place. Samuel Johnson
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Wheresoe'er I turn my view, All is strange, yet nothing new: Endless labor all along, Endless labor to be wrong: Phrase that Time has flung away; Uncouth words in disarray, Trick'd in antique ruff and bonnet, Ode, and elegy, and sonnet. Samuel Johnson
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He that shall peruse the political pamphlets of any past reign will wonder why they were so eagerly read, or so loudly praised. Samuel Johnson
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Suspicion is very often a useless pain. Samuel Johnson
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No man sympathizes with the sorrows of vanity. Samuel Johnson
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To purchase Heaven has gold the power? Can gold remove the mortal hour? In life can love be bought with gold? Are friendship's pleasures to be sold? No-all that's worth a wish-a thought, Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought. Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind, Let nobler views engage thy mind. Samuel Johnson
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Fate wings, with every wish, the afflictive dart, Each gift of nature, and each grace of art. Samuel Johnson
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Wit is that which has been often thought, but never before was well expressed. Samuel Johnson
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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
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Do not discourage your children from hoarding, if they have a taste to it; whoever lays up his penny rather than part with it for a cake, at least is not the slave of gross appetite... Samuel Johnson
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Honesty is not greater where elegance is less. Samuel Johnson
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Its proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence. Samuel Johnson
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To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example. Samuel Johnson
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He that embarks in the voyage of life will always wish to advance, rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many founder in their passage while they lie waiting for the gale. Samuel Johnson
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This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd, Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd. Samuel Johnson
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