Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''Life will not bear refinement. You must do as other people do.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Sept. 19, 1777 (1791). Johnson was advising Boswell not to "refine" in the education of his children.
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  • ''Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but little danger.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). Letter, 1759, to Joseph Simpson.
  • ''A Judge may be a farmer; but he is not to geld his own pigs. A Judge may play a little at cards for his own amusement; but he is not to play at marbles, or chuck farthing in the Piazza.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 6, 1775 (1791).
  • ''A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 11, 1776 (1791). Said over supper with James Boswell and the Corsican patriot Pasquale Paoli.
  • ''The Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Feb. 1775 (1791).
  • ''Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but he could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, June 13, 1784 (1791). Said to author Hannah More when she wondered how a poet capable of writing Paradise Lost had written such poor sonnets.
  • ''If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. letter, Oct. 27, 1779, to James Boswell. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
  • ''Men hate more steadily than they love.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, September 15, 1777 (1791).
  • ''There is, indeed, nothing that so much seduces reason from vigilance, as the thought of passing life with an amiable woman.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. letter, Dec. 21, 1762. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
  • ''He who praises everybody, praises nobody.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. First published in Works, vol. 11, p. 216 (1787). Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, vol. 3, note, ed. George Birkbeck Hill, revised L.F. Powell (1934).

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Best Poem of Samuel Johnson

On The Death Of Mr. Robert Levet, A Practiser In Physic

CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring death prepared the blow,
His vig'rous remedy display'd
The power of art without the ...

Read the full of On The Death Of Mr. Robert Levet, A Practiser In Physic

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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