Samuel Johnson Quotes

A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 1, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1897). Quoted in Hester Piozzi, Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson (1786).
Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Entry March 28, 1775. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). On poet Thomas Gray.
Life must be filled up, and the man who is not capable of intellectual pleasures must content himself with such as his senses can afford.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, ed. George Birkbeck Hill, p. 251 (1897). Quoted in Hester Piozzi, Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson, vol. 1 (1786).
While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 10, 1776 (1791).
He that fails in his endeavours after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.
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). Adventurer, no. 99 (October 16, 1753).
Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favourable to virtue.... Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 1, ed. George Birkbeck Hill, p. 219 (1891). Quoted in Hester Piozzi, Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson (1786).
Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in The Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt and L.F. Powell (1963). Adventurer (London, March 2, 1754), no. 138.
I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 1, p. 327, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1891), also quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, entry for 1770 (1791). Quoted in Hester Piozzi, Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson (1786).
Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Letter, December 7, 1782, to James Boswell. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
The world will never be long without some good reason to hate the unhappy; their real faults are immediately detected, and if those are not sufficient to sink them into infamy, an additional weight of calumny will be superadded.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in The Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt and L.F. Powell (1963). Adventurer (London, Oct. 16, 1753), no. 99.