110 Inspirational Quotes by Samuel Johnson

Collection of famous quotes by writer Samuel Johnson.

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer. Religiously, he was a devout Anglican, and politically a committed Tory.

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Best Quotes by Samuel Johnson

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

Man alone is born crying lives complaining and dies disappointed.

— Samuel Johnson

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life he will soon find himself left alone. A man sir should keep his friendship in a constant repair.

— Samuel Johnson

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.

— Samuel Johnson

The true art of memory is the art of attention.

— Samuel Johnson

There is nothing Sir too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.

— Samuel Johnson

Dictionaries are like watches the worst is better than none and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.

— Samuel Johnson

The return of my birthday if I remember it fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.

— Samuel Johnson

Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.

— Samuel Johnson

Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing when we have made it the next wish is to change again.

— Samuel Johnson

Courage is the greatest of all virtues because if you haven’t courage you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.

— Samuel Johnson

He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.

— Samuel Johnson

Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.

— Samuel Johnson

Prepare for death if here at night you roam and sign your will before you sup from home.

— Samuel Johnson

Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.

— Samuel Johnson

The world is seldom what it seems to man who dimly sees realities appear as dreams and dreams realities.

— Samuel Johnson

It is better that some should be unhappy rather than that none should be happy which would be the case in a general state of equality.

— Samuel Johnson

Subordination tends greatly to human happiness. Were we all upon an equality we should have no other enjoyment than mere animal pleasure.

— Samuel Johnson

Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.

— Samuel Johnson

All theory is against freedom of the will all experience for it.

— Samuel Johnson

Exercise is labor without weariness.

— Samuel Johnson

No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail for being in a ship is being in a jail with the chance of being drowned… a man in a jail has more room better food and commonly better company.

— Samuel Johnson

All theory is against freedom of the will all experience for it.

— Samuel Johnson

Friendship like love is destroyed by long absence though it may be increased by short intermissions.

— Samuel Johnson

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life he will soon find himself left alone. A man sir should keep his friendship in a constant repair.

— Samuel Johnson

The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef love like being enlivened with champagne.

— Samuel Johnson

The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it but is always breaking away from the present moment and losing itself in schemes of future felicity… The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.

— Samuel Johnson

The future is purchased by the present.

— Samuel Johnson

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

— Samuel Johnson

A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table than when his wife talks Greek.

— Samuel Johnson

Your manuscript is both good and original but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.

— Samuel Johnson

I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government other than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual.

— Samuel Johnson

If your determination is fixed I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength but perseverance.

— Samuel Johnson

Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness it certainly destroys liberty and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult.

— Samuel Johnson

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

— Samuel Johnson

To love one that is great is almost to be great one’s self.

— Samuel Johnson

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.

— Samuel Johnson

Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.

— Samuel Johnson

Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.

— Samuel Johnson

A am a great friend of public amusements they keep people from vice.

— Samuel Johnson

I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature to make any man’s virtues the means of deceiving him.

— Samuel Johnson

No man was ever great by imitation.

— Samuel Johnson

All the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil show it evidently to be a great evil.

— Samuel Johnson

There are goods so opposed that we cannot seize both but by too much prudence may pass between them at too great a distance to reach either.

— Samuel Johnson

He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.

— Samuel Johnson

Small debts are like small shot they are rattling on every side and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon of loud noise but little danger.

— Samuel Johnson

There is nothing Sir too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.

— Samuel Johnson

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.

— Samuel Johnson

Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness it certainly destroys liberty and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult.

— Samuel Johnson

Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife he is always proud of himself as the source of it.

— Samuel Johnson

Subordination tends greatly to human happiness. Were we all upon an equality we should have no other enjoyment than mere animal pleasure.

— Samuel Johnson

I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government other than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual.

— Samuel Johnson

We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found and each believes it possessed by others to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.

— Samuel Johnson

There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.

— Samuel Johnson

There is nothing Sir too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.

— Samuel Johnson

There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern… No Sir there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.

— Samuel Johnson

To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition the end to which every enterprise and labor tends and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.

— Samuel Johnson

Prepare for death if here at night you roam and sign your will before you sup from home.

— Samuel Johnson

The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it but is always breaking away from the present moment and losing itself in schemes of future felicity… The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.

— Samuel Johnson

What we hope ever to do with ease we must learn first to do with diligence.

— Samuel Johnson

We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found and each believes it possessed by others to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.

— Samuel Johnson

The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.

— Samuel Johnson

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality and instead of thinking how things may be to see them as they are.

— Samuel Johnson

Were it not for imagination a man would be as happy in arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess.

— Samuel Johnson

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it.

— Samuel Johnson

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.

— Samuel Johnson

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.

— Samuel Johnson

Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference. As gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich so knowledge which cannot apply will make no man wise.

— Samuel Johnson

Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.

— Samuel Johnson

Bachelors have consciences married men have wives.

— Samuel Johnson

Bachelors have consciences married men have wives.

— Samuel Johnson

Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.

— Samuel Johnson

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.

— Samuel Johnson

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

No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.

— Samuel Johnson

There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.

— Samuel Johnson

The happiest part of a man’s life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning.

— Samuel Johnson

Of all noises I think music is the least disagreeable.

— Samuel Johnson

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.

— Samuel Johnson

I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature to make any man’s virtues the means of deceiving him.

— Samuel Johnson

Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.

— Samuel Johnson

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

— Samuel Johnson

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.

— Samuel Johnson

You can’t be in politics unless you can walk in a room and know in a minute who’s for you and who’s against you.

— Samuel Johnson

Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not.

— Samuel Johnson

Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.

— Samuel Johnson

Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.

— Samuel Johnson

He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.

— Samuel Johnson

Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.

— Samuel Johnson

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

Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in battle.

— Samuel Johnson

Let me smile with the wise and feed with the rich.

— Samuel Johnson

Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.

— Samuel Johnson

If your determination is fixed I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength but perseverance.

— Samuel Johnson

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

— Samuel Johnson

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties passing from one step of success to another forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.

— Samuel Johnson

A wise man will make haste to forgive because he knows the true value of time and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.

— Samuel Johnson

The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.

— Samuel Johnson

All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse he may learn to enjoy it.

— Samuel Johnson

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.

— Samuel Johnson

Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference. As gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich so knowledge which cannot apply will make no man wise.

— Samuel Johnson

It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.

— Samuel Johnson

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.

— Samuel Johnson

In order that all men may be taught to speak the truth it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.

— Samuel Johnson

Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.

— Samuel Johnson

Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.

— Samuel Johnson

Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

— Samuel Johnson

To keep your secret is wisdom but to expect others to keep it is folly.

— Samuel Johnson

Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.

— Samuel Johnson

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