Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''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 (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, September 20, 1777 (1791).
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  • ''That life protracted is protracted woe.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British writer. The Vanity of Human Wishes: The Tenth Satire of Juvenal Imitated (l. 258). . . The Complete English Poems [Samuel Johnson]. J. D. Fleeman, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
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  • ''I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Letter, June 27, 1758. Published in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
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  • ''Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 28, 1778 (1791).
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  • ''A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation—a proof of unwillingness to do much, even where there is a necessity of doing something.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Letter, June 10, 1761. Published in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
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  • ''Questioning is not the mode of the conversation among gentlemen.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, March 25, 1776 (1791).
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  • ''A mere literary man is a dull man; a man who is solely a man of business is a selfish man; but when literature and commerce are united, they make a respectable man.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted by Robert Barclay in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, appendix, ed. John Wilson Croker (1847).
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  • ''So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Feb. 15, 1766 (1791).
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  • ''A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted by the Rev. Dr. Maxwell, in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1770 entry (1791).
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  • ''They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1754 entry (1791). Referring to Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son. Of Chesterfield—Johnson's erratic patron—he remarked, "This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords."
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Best Poem of Samuel Johnson

Autumn

Alas! with swift and silent pace,
Impatient time rolls on the year;
The Seasons change, and Nature's face
Now sweetly smiles, now frowns severe.

'Twas Spring, 'twas Summer, all was gay,
Now Autumn bends a cloudy brow;
The flowers of Spring are swept away,
And Summer fruits desert the bough.

The verdant leaves that play'd on high,
And wanton'd on the western breeze,
Now trod in dust neglected lie,
As Boreas strips the bending trees.

The fields that waved with golden grain,
As russet heaths are wild and bare;
Not moist with dew, but ...

Read the full of Autumn

One And Twenty

LONG-EXPECTED one and twenty
Ling'ring year at last has flown,
Pomp and pleasure, pride and plenty
Great Sir John, are all your own.

Loosen'd from the minor's tether,
Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind, and light as feather
Bid the slaves of thrift farewell.