Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''Men know that women are an over-match for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides (1785).
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  • ''The triumph of hope over experience.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, 1770 (1791). Referring to the remarriage of "a gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage." On a different note, Johnson had stated on another occasion (Sept. 30, 1769), "By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by shewing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time."
  • ''I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides, September 18, 1773 (1785).
  • ''I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 15, 1778 (1791). "Sir, they are a race of convicts," Johnson stated in 1769, "and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging." (Quoted in Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, March 21, 1775).
  • ''There are few things that we so unwillingly give up, even in advanced age, as the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, "Anecdotes by George Stevens," ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1891). quoted in "Johnsoniana," European Magazine (Jan. 1785).
  • ''No man is by nature the property of another. The defendant is, therefore, by nature free.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, September 23, 1777, p. 878, Oxford University Press (1980). Comment on legal case concerning a Jamaican slave.
  • ''Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 18, 1775 (1791).
  • ''Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Works, vol. 9, "Apophthegms," ed. John Hawkins (1787-1789). Quoted in Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, p. 19, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897).
  • ''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 (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, note to entry, 1755 (1791). Records Johnson's opinion "at a subsequent period of his life" to 1755.
  • ''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 (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 5, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). quoted in Rambler, no. 151 (London, Aug. 31, 1751).

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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

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.

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