Samuel Johnson Quotes

This was a good enough dinner, to be sure; but it was not a dinner to ask a man to.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). for Aug. 5, 1763.
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So different are the colours of life, as we look forward to the future, or backward to the past; and so different the opinions and sentiments which this contrariety of appearance naturally produces, that the conversation of the old and young ends generally with contempt or pity on either side.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, vol 3, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). Rambler (London, Nov. 13, 1750), no. 69.
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"Mr. Johnson, (said I) I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it".... "That, Sir, I find is what a great many of your countrymen cannot help."
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, May 16, 1763, p. 277, Oxford University Press (1980).
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By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by shewing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Sept. 30, 1769 (1791). On another occasion (1770), Johnson described the remarriage of "a gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage" as "the triumph of hope over experience."
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It is, indeed, at home that every man must be known by those who would make a just estimate either of his virtue or felicity; for smiles and embroidery are alike occasional, and the mind is often dressed for show in painted honour, and fictitious benevolence.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, Yale Edition, vol. 3, eds. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (1969). Rambler (London, November 10, 1750), no. 68.
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Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, March 21, 1776, p. 696, Oxford University Press (1980).
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Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, June 19, 1784 (1791).
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Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.
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 (London, Sept. 10, 1751), no. 155.
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When I censured a gentleman of my acquaintance for marrying a second time, as it shewed a disregard of his first wife, he said, "Not at all, Sir. On the contrary, were he not to marry again, it might be concluded that his first wife had given him a disgust to marriage; but by taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by shewing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time."
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, Sept. 30, 1769, p. 406, Oxford University Press (1980).
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If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Sept. 19, 1777 (1791).
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