Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Anecdotes by William Seward, Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897).
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  • ''Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1780 entry (1791).
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  • ''Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons (1797). quoted in Anecdotes by William Seward, repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, p. 308, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897). Referring to a violinist's playing.
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  • ''Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). Letter, May 1, 1780, to Mrs. Thrale.
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  • ''It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 1, p. 288, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897). Quoted in Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson (1786).
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  • ''That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, entry for 1770 (1791).
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  • ''I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, p. 15, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1891). Quoted in "Apophthegms, Sentiments, Opinions," vol. 11, Works, ed. Sir John Hawkins (1787-1789).
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  • ''If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 3, 1776 entry (1791).
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  • ''Surely life, if it be not long, is tedious, since we are forced to call in the assistance of so many trifles to rid us of our time, of that time which never can return.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Letter, June 10, 1761. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
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  • ''No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 14, 1776 (1791).
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Best Poem of Samuel Johnson

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.

Call the Bettys, Kates, and Jenneys
Ev'ry name that laughs at care,
Lavish of your Grandsire's guineas,
Show the spirit of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly
Joy to see their quarry fly,
Here the gamester light and jolly
There the lender grave and sly. ...

Read the full of One And Twenty

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.

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