Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it: every hour takes away part of the things that please us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be pleased.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. letter, Sept. 1, 1777, to Boswell. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson (1791).
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  • ''The highest panegyric, therefore, that private virtue can receive, is the praise of servants.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler, no. 68 (London, Nov. 10, 1750). repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 3, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969).
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  • ''I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, Nov. 1784 (1791). In his last illness.
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  • ''Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler, no. 48 (London, Sept. 1, 1750).
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  • ''Worth seeing? Yes; but not worth going to see.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, Oct. 12, 1779 (1791). To Boswell's question, "Is not the Giant's Causeway worth seeing?"
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  • ''The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler, no. 13.
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  • ''Their learning is like bread in a besieged town: every man gets a little, but no man gets a full meal.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 18, 1775 (1791). Referring to the Scots.
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  • ''This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, March 1781 (1791).
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  • ''Nobody can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, March 31, 1772 (1791). Johnson was referring specifically to Goldsmith's Life of Parnell. He later reiterated and qualified this statement: "They only who live with a man can write his life with any genuine exactness and discrimination; and few people who have lived with a man know what to remark about him." (Mar. 20, 1776).
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  • ''We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler (London, Apr. 20, 1751), no. 114, published in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 4, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969).
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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

Anacreon: Ode 9

Lovely courier of the sky,
Whence and whither dost thou fly?
Scattering, as thy pinions play,
Liquid fragrance all the way:
Is it business? is it love?
Tell me, tell me, gentle dove.
'Soft Anacreon's vows I bear,
Vows to Myrtale the fair;
Graced with all that charms the heart,

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