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).
  • ''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.
  • ''Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Rambler, no. 48 (London, Sept. 1, 1750).
  • ''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?"
  • ''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.
  • ''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.
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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

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

Evening Ode

To Stella:

Evening now from purple wings
Sheds the grateful gifts she brings;
Brilliant drops bedeck the mead,
Cooling breezes shake the reed;
Shake the reed, and curl the stream
Silver'd o'er with Cynthia's beam;
Near the chequer'd, lonely grove,

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