Quotes by Samuel Johnson

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Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was an English critic, poet and essayist. more

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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.

The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
Nothing . . . will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.
A fly may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords: but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain; and expectations improperly indulged must end in disappointment.
Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o clock is a scoundrel.
Revenge is the act of passion, vengeance is an act of justice.
To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly.
Language is the dress of thought.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
Pleasure that is obtained by unreasonable and unsuitable cost, must always end in pain.
Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything.
Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy.
We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass.
The chains of habit are generally too week to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken.
Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.
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 one book.
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
Marriage is the best state for man in general, and every man is a worst man in proportion to the level he is unfit for marriage.
What is read twice is usually remembered more than what is once written.
The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another.
I found you essay to be good and original. However, the part that was original was not good and the part that was good was not original.
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled.
Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favorable to virtue. Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.
If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.
No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
No one ever became great by imitation.
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
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.
Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
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. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.
A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.
The longer we live the more we think and the higher the value we put on friendship and tenderness towards parents and friends.
In traveling, a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.
Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking.
He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor.
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
Suspicion is most often useless pain.
I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigrees of nations.
Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force.
The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.
I am a great friend to public amusements, for they keep the people from vice.
I hate mankind, for I think of myself as one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.
Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.
No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.
There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.
The future is purchased by the present.
The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay, or dislike hourly increased by causes too slender for complaint, and too numerous for removal.
To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage.
He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.
Shame arises from the fear of men, conscience from the fear of God.
Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.