Samuel Johnson Quotes & Wallpapers

Samuel Johnson
Total Quotes: 2311


Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content. No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of the spring: no man can, at the same time, fill his cup from the source and from the mouth of the Nile. 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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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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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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Reason and truth will prevail at last Samuel Johnson
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From ignorance our comfort flows, the only wretched are the wise Samuel Johnson
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The purpose of a writer is to be read, and the criticism which would destroy the power of pleasing must be blown aside Samuel Johnson
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Some read for style, and some for argument: one has little care about the sentiment, he observes only how it is expressed; another regards not the conclusion, but is diligent to mark how it is inferred; they read for other purposes than the attainment of practical knowledge; and are no more likely to grow wise by an examination of a treatise of moral prudence, than an architect to inflame his devotion by considering attentively the proportions of a temple. Samuel Johnson
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Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better. Samuel Johnson
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Advice, as it always gives a temporary appearance of superiority, can never be very grateful, even when it is most necessary or most judicious; but, for the same reason, every one is eager to instruct his neighbors. Samuel Johnson
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Ladies, stock and tend your hive, Trifle not at thirty-five; For, howe'er we boast and strive, Life declines from thirty-five; He that ever hopes to thrive Must begin by thirty-five. Samuel Johnson
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Every desire is a viper in the bosom, who while he was chill was harmless; but when warmth gave him strength, exerted it in poison. Samuel Johnson
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No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction. A man is pleased that his wife is dressed as well as other people, and the wife is pleased that she is dressed. Samuel Johnson
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Ignorance cannot always be inferred from inaccuracy; knowledge is not always present. Samuel Johnson
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A man has no more right to say an uncivil thing than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another than to knock him down. 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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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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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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Youth enters the world with very happy prejudices in her own favor. She imagines herself not only certain of accomplishing every adventure, but of obtaining those rewards which the accomplishment may deserve. She is not easily persuaded to believe that the force of merit can be resisted by obstinacy and avarice, or its luster darkened by envy and malignity. Samuel Johnson
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Why, sir, Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an excess of stupidity, Sir, is not in Nature. Samuel Johnson
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The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion of almost every wish is found a disappointment. 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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That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments.... Samuel Johnson
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Pity is not natural to man. Children and savages are always cruel. Pity is acquired and improved by the cultivation of reason. We may have uneasy sensations from seeing a creature in distress, without pity; but we have not pity unless we wish to relieve him. Samuel Johnson
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A man is not obliged honestly to answer a question which should not properly be put. Samuel Johnson
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Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new. 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Still we love The evil we do, until we suffer it. Samuel Johnson
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Men are like stone jugs, - you may lug them where you like by the ears. Samuel Johnson
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Yet still he fills affection's eye, Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind. Samuel Johnson
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To neglect at any time preparation for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege, but to omit it in old age, is to sleep at an attack. Samuel Johnson
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patron.... Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery. Samuel Johnson
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Words being arbitrary must owe their power to association, and have the influence, and that only, which custom has given them. Language is the dress of thought. Samuel Johnson
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Being told she was remarkable for her humility and condescension to inferiors, he observed, that those were very laudable qualities, but it might not be so easy to discover who the lady's inferiors were. Samuel Johnson
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You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables. Samuel Johnson
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It seems to be the fate of man to seek all his consolations in futurity. The time present is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with immediate enjoyment, and we are forced to supply its deficiencies by recollection or anticipation. Samuel Johnson
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