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Quotations From SAMUEL JOHNSON

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  • 91.
    Attention and respect give pleasure, however late, or however useless. But they are not useless, when they are late, it is reasonable to rejoice, as the day declines, to find that it has been spent with the approbation of mankind.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. letter, Dec. 31, 1783, to Hester Thrale. The Letters of Samuel Johnson, vol. 3, no. 922, ed. R.W. Chapman (1952).

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  • 92.
    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.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Nekayah, in The History of Rasselas, ch. 47 (1759).

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  • 93.
    Norway, too, has noble prospects; and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects. But, Sir, let me tell you, the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England!
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, July 6, 1763 (1791).
  • 94.
    Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 3, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). Rambler (London, Aug. 28, 1750), no. 47.

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  • 95.
    Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, October [?] 1775 (1791).

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  • 96.
    The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 3, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). Rambler (London, March 24, 1750), no. 2.

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  • 97.
    A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller: he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Preface, Plays of William Shakespeare (1765).
  • 98.
    The true art of memory is the art of attention.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt, and L.F. Powell (1963). The Idler, no. 74, Universal Chronicle (London, Sept. 15, 1759).

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  • 99.
    Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1783 entry (1791).
  • 100.
    I gleaned jests at home from obsolete farces.
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler (London, July 23, 1751), no. 141.

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