Samuel Johnson Quotes

Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle.
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. 1, Universal Chronicle (London, April 15, 1758). "As peace is the end of war," Johnson wrote, "so to be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy."
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Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Imlac, in The History of Rasselas, ch. 8 (1759).
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Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 3, 1775 (1791).
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If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it?
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. 89, Universal Chronicle (London, December 29, 1759).
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Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Imlac, in The History of Rasselas, ch. 13 (1759).
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Sir, let me tell you, the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, July 6, 1763 (1791).
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Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.
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. 40, Universal Chronicle (London, Jan. 20, 1759).
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When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of twenty-one, little did I suspect that I should be at forty-nine, what I now am.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Letter, January 9, 1758. James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
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Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsocial man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, April 6, 1772 (1791).
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Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and ... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.
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. 30, Universal Chronicle (London, November 11, 1758).
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