Samuel Johnson Quotes

The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction. Samuel Johnson

Those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt. Samuel Johnson

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble. Samuel Johnson

He that fails in his endeavours after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage. Samuel Johnson

To marry a second time represents the triumph of hope over experience. Samuel Johnson

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money. Samuel Johnson

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Samuel Johnson

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. Samuel Johnson

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Samuel Johnson

It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached. Samuel Johnson

The business of life is to go forwards. Samuel Johnson

This is one of the disadvantages of wine: it makes a man mistake words for thought. Samuel Johnson

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. Samuel Johnson

Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy. Samuel Johnson

Tea’s proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence. Samuel Johnson

The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it. Samuel Johnson

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization. Samuel Johnson

The usual fortune for complaint is to excite contempt more than pity. Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. Samuel Johnson

Cucumber should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out. Samuel Johnson

No man ever yet became great by imitation. Samuel Johnson

A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see. Samuel Johnson

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. Samuel Johnson

The great source of pleasure is variety. Samuel Johnson

Oats. A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people. Samuel Johnson

Much may be made of a Scotsman if he be caught young. Samuel Johnson

To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly. Samuel Johnson

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

In sovereignty there are no gradations. Samuel Johnson

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought; our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. Samuel Johnson

Wine makes a man better pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others. Samuel Johnson

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. Samuel Johnson

Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labour of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price. Samuel Johnson

The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another. Samuel Johnson

Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other. Samuel Johnson

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Samuel Johnson

All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance. Samuel Johnson

Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. Samuel Johnson

Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult. Samuel Johnson

Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saving it. Samuel Johnson

When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. Samuel Johnson

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. Samuel Johnson

Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking. Samuel Johnson

Employment, sir, and hardships prevent melancholy. Samuel Johnson

If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair. Samuel Johnson

I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance. Samuel Johnson

Our aspirations are our possibilities. Samuel Johnson

Affectation is to be always distinguished from hypocrisy as being the art of counterfeiting those qualities, which we might with innocence and safety, be known to want. Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy; affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly. Samuel Johnson

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. Samuel Johnson

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. Samuel Johnson

Power is always gradually stealing away from the many to the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent. Samuel Johnson

It is in refinement and elegance that the civilized man differs from the savage. Samuel Johnson

It was his peculiar happiness that he scarcely ever found a stranger whom he did not leave a friend; but it must likewise be added, that he had not often a friend long without obliging him to become a stranger. Samuel Johnson

More knowledge may be gained of a man’s real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral. Samuel Johnson

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