Samuel Johnson Quotes

Much ... may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, spring 1772 (1791).
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Men know that women are an over-match for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides (1785).
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BOSWELL. "I have often blamed myself, Sir, for not feeling for others as sensibly as many say they do." JOHNSON. "Sir, don't be duped by them any more. You will find these very feeling people are not very ready to do you good. They pay you by feeling."
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, Oct. 19, 1769, p. 416, Oxford University Press (1980).
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The triumph of hope over experience.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, 1770 (1791). Referring to the remarriage of "a gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage." On a different note, Johnson had stated on another occasion (Sept. 30, 1769), "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."
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I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides, September 18, 1773 (1785).
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BOSWELL " ... Is not the fear of death natural to man?" JOHNSON. "So much so, Sir, that the whole of life is but keeping away the thought of it."
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, Oct. 19, 1769, p. 416, Oxford University Press (1980).
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I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 15, 1778 (1791). "Sir, they are a race of convicts," Johnson stated in 1769, "and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging." (Quoted in Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, March 21, 1775).
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There are few things that we so unwillingly give up, even in advanced age, as the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. In Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol. 2, "Anecdotes by George Stevens," ed. George Birkbeck Hill (1891). quoted in "Johnsoniana," European Magazine (Jan. 1785).
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No man is by nature the property of another. The defendant is, therefore, by nature free.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. (Originally published 1791). Boswell's Life of Johnson, September 23, 1777, p. 878, Oxford University Press (1980). Comment on legal case concerning a Jamaican slave.
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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, entry, April 18, 1775 (1791).
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