Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''If you were to read Richardson for the story, your impatience would be so much fretted that you would hang yourself. But you must read him for the sentiment.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, April 6, 1772, p. 480, Oxford University Press (1980).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, Aug. 5, 1763 (1791). Boswell further described Johnson's dedication to eating thus: "I never knew any man who relished good eating more than he did. When at table he was totally absorbed in the business of the moment.... To those whose sensations were delicate, this could not but be disgusting; and it was doubtless not very suitable to the character of a philosopher.... But it must be owned that Johnson, though he could be rigidly abstemious, was not a temperate man."
  • ''There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, Yale Edition, vol. 4, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). quoted in Rambler (Jan. 15, 1751), no. 87.
  • ''Read your own compositions, and when you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 30, 1773 (1791). Quoting a college tutor.
  • ''What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, p. 77, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897). Quoted in Richard Cumberland, Anecdotes, first published in Memoirs (1807).
  • ''I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, Nov. 1784 (1791).
  • ''Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in William Cooke, Life of Samuel Foote, vol. 2, repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, p. 393, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897).
  • ''He had long before indulged most unfavourable sentiments of our fellow-subjects in America. For, as early as 1769,... he had said of them, "Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for any thing we allow them short of hanging."''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1775, p. 590, Oxford University Press (1980).
  • ''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).
  • ''Every other enjoyment malice may destroy; every other panegyric envy may withhold; but no human power can deprive the boaster of his own encomiums.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 5, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). Rambler, no. 193 (Jan. 21, 1752).

Read more quotations »
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

Burlesque

Of the modern versifications of
ancient legendary tales. - An impromptu.

The tender infant, meek and mild,
Fell down upon the stone:
The nurse took p the squealing child,
But still the child squeal'd on.

[Report Error]