Samuel Johnson Quotes

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single biographical work in the whole of literature," James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.

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Samuel Johnson


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

Samuel Johnson


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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


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My dear friend, clear your mind of cant.

Samuel Johnson


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One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.

Samuel Johnson


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Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

Samuel Johnson


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

Samuel Johnson


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Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.

Samuel Johnson


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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


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What is easy is seldom excellent.

Samuel Johnson


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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


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I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world.

Samuel Johnson


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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


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The longer we live the more we think and the higher the value we put on friendship and tenderness towards parents and friends.

Samuel Johnson


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The mind is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are diverted from the principle subject; the reader is weary, he suspects not why; and at last throws away the book, which he has too diligently studied.

Samuel Johnson


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We may have uneasy feelings for seeing a creature in distress without pity; for we have not pity unless we wish to relieve them.

Samuel Johnson


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