Samuel Johnson Quotes

If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 3, 1776 (1791).
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If the guardian or the mother Tell the woes of willful waste, Scorn their counsel and their pother, You can hang or drown at last.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British writer. A Short Song of Congratulation (l. 25-28). . . The Complete English Poems [Samuel Johnson]. J. D. Fleeman, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
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Any of us would kill a cow, rather than not have beef.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785).
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Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, May 8, 1781 (1791).
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Loosened from the minor's tether; Free to mortgage or to sell, Wild as wind, and light as feather Bid the slaves of thrift farewell.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British writer. A Short Song of Congratulation (l. 5-8). . . The Complete English Poems [Samuel Johnson]. J. D. Fleeman, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
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No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, June 19, 1784 (1791).
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Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, July 21, 1763 (1791). Said of the philosopher David Hume "and other sceptical innovators."
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Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Attributed in Instructions to Young Sportsmen, Hawker (1859). Never found in Johnson's works, the remark is also attributed to Jonathan Swift.
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Sir, that all who are happy, are equally happy, is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, Feb. 1766 (1791). Johnson was arguing against the proposition by David Hume (in the essay The Sceptic) that "a little miss, dressed in a new gown for a dancing-school ball, receives as complete enjoyment as the greatest orator, who triumphs in the splendor of his eloquence."
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A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, July 14, 1763 (1791). Johnson continued, however, by prescribing that, "A young man should read five hours in a day, and so may acquire a great deal of knowledge."
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