Famous Quotes By Samuel Johnson


  1. A am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice.
  2. A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.
  3. 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.
  4. All the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil show it evidently to be a great evil.
  5. All theory is against freedom of the will all experience for it.
  6. All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.
  7. Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.
  8. 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.
  9. Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven't courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.
  10. Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
  11. Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
  12. Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.
  13. Exercise is labor without weariness.
  14. Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.
  15. Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.
  16. Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
  17. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
  18. He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.
  19. 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.
  20. He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.
  21. I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man's virtues the means of deceiving him.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
  25. In order that all men may be taught to speak the truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.
  26. Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
  27. 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.
  28. It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
  29. 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.
  30. It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.
  31. Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
  32. Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
  33. Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.
  34. Let me smile with the wise, and feed with the rich.
  35. Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.
  36. Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.
  37. Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
  38. Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.
  39. Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
  40. Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.
  41. Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.
  42. No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
  43. No man was ever great by imitation.
  44. No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.
  45. No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
  46. Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife he is always proud of himself as the source of it.
  47. Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.
  48. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
  49. Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.
  50. Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.
  51. Prepare for death, if here at night you roam, and sign your will before you sup from home.
  52. Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
  53. Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
  54. Small debts are like small shot they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon of loud noise, but little danger.
  55. Subordination tends greatly to human happiness. Were we all upon an equality, we should have no other enjoyment than mere animal pleasure.
  56. 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.
  57. The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef love, like being enlivened with champagne.
  58. The future is purchased by the present.
  59. 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 a book.
  60. The happiest part of a man's life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning.
  61. The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
  62. The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.
  63. The true art of memory is the art of attention.
  64. The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
  65. The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
  66. The world is seldom what it seems to man, who dimly sees, realities appear as dreams, and dreams realities.
  67. There are few things that we so unwillingly give up, even in advanced age, as the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.
  68. There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.
  69. There are goods so opposed that we cannot seize both, but, by too much prudence, may pass between them at too great a distance to reach either.
  70. There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern... No, Sir there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.
  71. There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.
  72. There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
  73. 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.
  74. To keep your secret is wisdom but to expect others to keep it is folly.
  75. To love one that is great, is almost to be great one's self.
  76. Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in battle.
  77. 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.
  78. Were it not for imagination a man would be as happy in arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess.
  79. What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
  80. You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury, than by giving it for by spending it in luxury, you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle.
  81. You can't be in politics unless you can walk in a room and know in a minute who's for you and who's against you.
  82. Your manuscript is both good and original but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.

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