Samuel Johnson Quotes

Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. repr. in Works of Samuel Johnson, Yale Edition, vol. 2, eds. W.J. Bate, John M. Bullitt and L.F. Powell (1963). The Idler, no. 58, first published in Universal Chronicle (London, May 26, 1759).
There may be other reasons for a man's not speaking in publick than want of resolution: he may have nothing to say.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 5, 1775 (1791).
Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, Oct. 26, 1769 (1791).
When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four.
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. 36, Universal Chronicle (London, Dec. 23, 1758).
Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Mrs. Hannah More, vol. 1, ed. William Roberts (1834).
Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1783 entry (1791).
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
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. 74, Universal Chronicle (London, Sept. 15, 1759).
It seems not more reasonable to leave the right of printing unrestrained, because writers may be afterwards censured, than it would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws we can hang a thief.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. "Milton," Lives of the English Poets (1779-1781). Discussing Milton's Areopagitica.
And then, Sir, there is this consideration, that if the abuse be enormous, Nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, July 6, 1763 (1791).
Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
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. 58, Universal Chronicle (London, May 26, 1759).