Samuel Johnson Quotes & Wallpapers

Samuel Johnson
Total Quotes: 2311


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

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

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

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. Samuel Johnson

There are in every age new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed. Samuel Johnson

Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy. Samuel Johnson

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

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. Samuel Johnson

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

Care that is once enter'd into the breast Will have the whole possession ere it rest. Samuel Johnson

Oratory is the power of beating down your adversary's arguments and putting better in their place. Samuel Johnson

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

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

Suspicion is very often a useless pain. Samuel Johnson

No man sympathizes with the sorrows of vanity. Samuel Johnson

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

Fate wings, with every wish, the afflictive dart, Each gift of nature, and each grace of art. Samuel Johnson

Wit is that which has been often thought, but never before was well expressed. Samuel Johnson

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

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

None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence. Samuel Johnson

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

Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. Samuel Johnson

That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments.... Samuel Johnson

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

A man is not obliged honestly to answer a question which should not properly be put. Samuel Johnson

Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new. Samuel Johnson

From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,- Path, motive, guide, original, and end. Samuel Johnson

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

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

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

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

Curiosity, like all other desires, produces pain as well as pleasure. Samuel Johnson

That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem. Samuel Johnson

If we will have the kindness of others, we must endure their follies. Samuel Johnson

To hear complaints is wearisome alike to the wretched and the happy. Samuel Johnson

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

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

This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd, Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd. Samuel Johnson

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

Still we love The evil we do, until we suffer it. Samuel Johnson

Men are like stone jugs, - you may lug them where you like by the ears. Samuel Johnson

Yet still he fills affection's eye, Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind. Samuel Johnson

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

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

In all pleasures hope is a considerable part. Samuel Johnson

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

I never have sought the world; the world was not to seek me. Samuel Johnson

How small of all that human hearts endure/That part which laws or kings can cause or cure. Samuel Johnson

Virtue is too often merely local. Samuel Johnson

Politeness is fictitious benevolence. Samuel Johnson

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

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

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

Deviation from Nature is deviation from happiness. Samuel Johnson

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

He that never thinks can never be wise. Samuel Johnson

Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better. Samuel Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reason and truth will prevail at last Samuel Johnson

From ignorance our comfort flows, the only wretched are the wise Samuel Johnson

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

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

Novelty is indeed necessary to preserve eagerness and alacrity; but art and nature have stores inexhaustible by human intellects, and every moment produces something new to him who has quickened his faculties by diligent observation. Samuel Johnson

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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