Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Samuel Johnson Quotes

  • ''Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsocial man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 6, 1772 (1791).
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and ... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt, and L.F. Powell (1963). The Idler, no. 30, Universal Chronicle (London, November 11, 1758).
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.... There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Mar. 31, 1772 (1791).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''At seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Works of Samuel Johnson, Yale Edition, vol. 9, ed. Mary Lascelles (1971). Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, "Col," (1775).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 6, 1775 (1791).
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Wine makes a man better pleased with himself. I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.... This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 28, 1778 (1791).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''As peace is the end of war, so to be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt, and L.F. Powell (1963). The Idler, no. 1, Universal Chronicle (London, April 15, 1758). "Perhaps man," Johnson wrote, "is the only being that can properly be called idle."
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, July 21, 1763 (1791).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Virtue is too often merely local.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt and L.F. Powell (1963). The Idler, no. 53, Universal Chronicle (London, April 21, 1759).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Our tastes greatly alter. The lad does not care for the child's rattle, and the old man does not care for the young man's whore.''
    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, spring 1776 (1791).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.

Read more quotations »
Best Poem of Samuel Johnson

Epitaph On Sir Thomas Hanmer, Bart.

Thou who survey'st these walls with curious eye,
Pause at this tomb where Hanmer's ashes lie;
His various worth through varied life attend,
And learn his virtues while thou mourn'st his end.
His force of genius burn'd in early youth,
With thirst of knowledge, and with love of truth;
His learning, joined with each endearing art,
Charm'd every ear, and gain'd every heart.
Thus early wise, the endanger'd real to aid,
His country call'd him from the studious shade;
In life's first bloom his public toils began,
At once commenced the senator and man.
In business ...

Read the full of Epitaph On Sir Thomas Hanmer, Bart.

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.