Samuel Johnson Quotes

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).
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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).
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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).
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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).
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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.
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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).
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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).
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Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Nekayah, in The History of Rasselas, ch. 26 (1759).
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You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labour, than when you give money merely in charity.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, May 1776 (1791).
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The trade of advertising is now so near perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercised in due subordination to the public good, I cannot but propose it as a moral question to these masters of the public ear, whether they do not sometimes play too wantonly with our passions.
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, in Universal Chronicle, no. 40 (London, January 20, 1759).
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