Samuel Johnson Quotes

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
A man ought to read just as inclination leads him for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Old age is not a disease- it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses.
It is better to live rich than to die rich.
It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
Round numbers are always false.
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigrees of nations.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.
No mind is much employed upon the present recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments.
In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.
A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
ESSAY -- A loose sally of the mind an irregular indigested piece not a regular and orderly composition.
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.
When once a man has made celebrity necessary to his happiness, he has put it in the power of the weakest and most timourous malignity, if not to take away his satisfaction, at least to withhold it. His enemies may indulge their pride by airy negligence a
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
Every man wishes to be wise, and they who cannot be wise are almost always cunning.
Learn that the present hour alone is man's.
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone.
There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.
To hear complaints with patience, even when complaints are vain, is one of the duties of friendship.
We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over so in a series of kindness there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
He who praises everybody, praises nobody.
That fellow seems to posses but one idea and that is the wrong one.
As gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich, so knowledge which he cannot apply will make no man wise.
An intellectual improvement arises from leisure.
A cucumber whould be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and viniger, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.
When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.
Language is the dress of thought.
I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
I hate mankind, for I think myself to be one of them, and I know how bad I am.
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.
The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things--the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.
Keeping accounts, Sir, is of no use when a man is spending his own money, and has nobody to whom he is to account. You won't eat less beef today, because you have written down what it cost yesterday.
When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of twenty-one, little did I suspect that I should be at forty-nine, what I now am.
What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence.
Your aspirations are your possibilities.
Do not ... hope wholly to reason away your troubles do not feed them with attention, and they will die imperceptibly away. Fix your thoughts upon your business, fill your intervals with company, and sunshine will again break in upon your mind.
When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
Always set high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.
The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.
Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality they discourse like angels, but they live like men.
Men are wise in proportion not to their experience but to their capacity for experience.
No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right.
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.
Hope is necessary in every condition.
Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
A cucumber should be well-sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.
Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.
Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.
Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.
Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.
Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
If you are idle, be not solitary if you are solitary be not idle.
Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
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.
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
The world is not yet exhaused let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.
While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.
A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.
There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed.
Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
Wine makes a man more pleased with himself I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.
Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apophthegm, at which many will start Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.
Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.
Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.
There is no observation more frequently made by such as employ themselves in surveying the conduct of mankind, than that marriage, though the dictate of nature, and the institution of Providence, is yet very often the cause of misery, and that those who enter into that state can seldom forbear to express their repentance, and their envy of those whom either chance or caution hath withheld from it.
Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden exchange meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home, and dream of one another. Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they shall be happy together. They marry, and discover what nothing but voluntary blindness had before concealed they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.
There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good.
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