Samuel Johnson

Born: September 18, 1709

Die: December 13, 1784

Occupation: Writer

Quotes of Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson

Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked...

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Samuel Johnson

Every man naturally persuades himself that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time and frequency of experiment.

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Samuel Johnson

Language is the dress of thought; every time you talk your mind is on parade.

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Samuel Johnson

Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.

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Samuel Johnson

The excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some useful truth in a few words.

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Samuel Johnson

The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.

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Samuel Johnson

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.

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Samuel Johnson

No wonder, Sir, that he is vain; a man who is perpetually flattered in every mode that can be conceived. So many bellows have blown the fire, that one wonders he is not by this time become a cinder.

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Samuel Johnson

Solitude is the surest nurse of all prurient passions, and a girl in the hurry of preparation, or tumult of gaiety, has neither inclination nor leisure to let tender expressions soften or sink into her...

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Samuel Johnson

You think I love flattery (says Dr. Johnson), and so I do; but a little too much always disgusts me: that fellow Richardson, on the contrary, could not be contented to sail quietly down the stream of reputation,...

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Samuel Johnson

Pope had been flattered till he thought himself one of the moving powers of the system of life. When he talked of laying down his pen, those who sat round him intreated and implored; and self-love did...

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Samuel Johnson

To be flattered is grateful, even when we know that our praises are not believed by those who pronounce them; for they prove, at least, our power, and show that our favour is valued, since it is purchased...

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Samuel Johnson

But, perhaps, the flatterer is not often detected; for an honest mind is not apt to suspect, and no one exerts the power of discernment with much vigour when selflove favors the deceit.

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Samuel Johnson

In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it; for no species of falsehood is more frequent than flattery, to which the coward is betrayed...

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Samuel Johnson

It is scarcely credible to what degree discernment may be dazzled by the mist of pride, and wisdom infatuated by the intoxication of flattery.

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Samuel Johnson

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present. The acknowledgment of those virtues on which conscience congratulates us is a tribute that we can at any tine exact with confidence; but the celebration...

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Samuel Johnson

The mischief of flattery is, not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honour may be gained without the...

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Samuel Johnson

Men who stand in the highest ranks of society seldom hear of their faults; if by any accident an opprobrious clamour reaches their ears, flattery is always at hand to pour in her opiates, to quiet conviction...

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Samuel Johnson

Few men survey themselves with so much severity as not to admit prejudices in their own favour, which an artful flatterer may gradually strengthen, till wishes for a particular qualification are improved...

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Samuel Johnson

The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.

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Samuel Johnson

Advice is seldom welcome. Those who need it most, like it least.

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Samuel Johnson

A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.

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Samuel Johnson

I do not care to speak ill of a man behind his back, but I believe he is an attorney.

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Samuel Johnson

You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.

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Samuel Johnson

Men seldom give pleasure when they are not pleased themselves.

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Samuel Johnson

Laws teach us to know when we commit injury and when we suffer it.

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Samuel Johnson

Power is gradually stealing away from the many to the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent.

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Samuel Johnson

Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.

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Samuel Johnson

No one is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, their fondness for themselves.

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Samuel Johnson

It is generally agreed, that few men are made better by affluence or exaltation.

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Samuel Johnson

What is read twice is usually remembered more than what is once written.

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Samuel Johnson

It is as bad as bad can be: it is ill-fed, ill-killed, ill-kept, and ill-drest.

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Samuel Johnson

I am sorry I have not learnt to play at cards. It is very useful in life: it generates kindness, and consolidates society.

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Samuel Johnson

We have now learned that rashness and imprudence will not be deterred from taking credit; let us try whether fraud and avarice may be more easily restrained from giving it.

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Samuel Johnson

Novelty is indeed necessary to preserve eagerness and alacrity; but art and nature have stores inexhaustible by human intellects, and every moment produces something new to him who has quickened his faculties...

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Samuel Johnson

As a madman is apt to think himself grown suddenly great, so he that grows suddenly great is apt to borrow a little from the madman.

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Samuel Johnson

The perfect day for quitting is not real. It will never come, so might as well start today

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Samuel Johnson

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality.

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Samuel Johnson

Pain is less subject than pleasure to careless expression.

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Samuel Johnson

I have thought of a pulley to raise me gradually; but that would give me pain, as it would counteract my natural inclination. I would have something that can dissipate the inertia and give elasticity to...

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Samuel Johnson

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.

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Samuel Johnson

Distance has the same effect on the mind as on the eye.

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Samuel Johnson

For who is pleased with himself.

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Samuel Johnson

My diseases are an asthma and a dropsy and, what is less curable, seventy-five.

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Samuel Johnson

The fountain of contentment must spring up in the mind.

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Samuel Johnson

Shame arises from the fear of men, conscience from the fear of God.

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Samuel Johnson

Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, roll darkly down the torrent of his fate.

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Samuel Johnson

Most minds are the slaves of external circumstances, and conform to any hand that undertakes to mould them.

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Samuel Johnson

Every one should consider himself as intrusted not only with his own conduct, but with that of others; and as accountable, not only for the duties which he neglects, or the crimes that he commits, but...

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Samuel Johnson

But to the particular species of excellence men are directed, not by an ascendant planet or predominating humour, but by the first book which they read, some early conversation which they heard, or some...

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Samuel Johnson

The wickedness of a loose or profane author is more atrocious than that of a giddy libertine or drunken ravisher, not only because it extends its effects wider, as a pestilence that taints the air is more...

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Samuel Johnson

The faults of a writer of acknowledged excellence are more dangerous, because the influence of his example is more extensive; and the interest of learning requires that they should be discovered and stigmatized,...

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Samuel Johnson

To scatter praise or blame without regard to justice is to destroy the distinction of good and evil. Many have no other test of actions than general opinion; and all are so far influenced by a sense of...

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Samuel Johnson

When the original is well chosen and judiciously copied, the imitator often arrives at excellence which he could never have attained without direction; for few are formed with abilities to discover new...

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Samuel Johnson

The faults of a man loved or honoured sometimes steal secretly and imperceptibly upon the wise and virtuous, but by injudicious fondness or thoughtless vanity are adopted with design.

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Samuel Johnson

No man, however enslaved to his appetites, or hurried by his passions, can, while he preserves his intellects unimpaired, please himself with promoting the corruption of others. He whose merit has enlarged...

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Samuel Johnson

I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.

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Samuel Johnson

That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem.

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Samuel Johnson

In all pleasures hope is a considerable part.

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Samuel Johnson

Art hath an enemy called ignorance.

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Samuel Johnson

[C]ourage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.

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Samuel Johnson

The work of a correct and regular writer is a garden accurately formed and diligently planted, varied with shades, and scented with flowers.

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Samuel Johnson

When a language begins to teem with books, it is tending to refinement; as those who undertake to teach others must have undergone some labour in improving themselves, they set a proportionate value on...

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Samuel Johnson

Exactness is first obtained, and afterwards elegance. But diction, merely vocal, is always in its childhood. As no man leaves his eloquence behind him, the new generations have all to learn. There may...

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Samuel Johnson

How small of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! Still to ourselves in every place consigned, Our own felicity we make or find. With secret course, which no loud...

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Samuel Johnson

Then with no throbs of fiery pain, No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way.

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Samuel Johnson

Those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt.

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Samuel Johnson

To have gold is to be in fear, and to want it to be sorrow.

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Samuel Johnson

Enlarge my life with multitude of days, In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays; Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know, That life protracted is protracted woe. Time hovers o'er, impatient...

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Samuel Johnson

And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.

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Samuel Johnson

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.

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Samuel Johnson

So different are the colors of life, as we look forward to the future, or backward to the past; and so different the opinions and sentiments which this contrariety of appearance naturally produces, that...

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Samuel Johnson

A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.

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Samuel Johnson

It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilised society...

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Samuel Johnson

It is not often that any man can have so much knowledge of another, as is necessary to make instruction useful.

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Samuel Johnson

All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance.

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Samuel Johnson

To live without feeling or exciting sympathy, to be fortunate without adding to the felicity of others, or afflicted without tasting the balm of pity, is a state more gloomy than solitude; it is not retreat,...

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Samuel Johnson

No one will persist long in helping someone who will not help themselves.

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Samuel Johnson

Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don't think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire.

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Samuel Johnson

You may translate books of science exactly. ... The beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written.

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Samuel Johnson

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.

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Samuel Johnson

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

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Samuel Johnson

A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.

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Samuel Johnson

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused

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Samuel Johnson

Change is not made without inconvenience.

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Samuel Johnson

The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated...

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Samuel Johnson

Wickedness is always easier than virtue; for it takes the short cut to everything.

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Samuel Johnson

A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments.

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Samuel Johnson

Knock the 't' off the 'can't.'

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Samuel Johnson

Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.

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Samuel Johnson

There is less flogging in our great schools than formerly-but then less is learned there; so what the boys get at one end they lose at the other.

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Samuel Johnson

Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.

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Samuel Johnson

I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night, and then the nap takes me.

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Samuel Johnson

I never have sought the world; the world was not to seek me.

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Samuel Johnson

Parents and children seldom act in concert: each child endeavors to appropriate the esteem or fondness of the parents, and the parents, with yet less temptation, betray each other to their children.

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Samuel Johnson

He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly become corrupt.

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Samuel Johnson

We may have many acquaintances, but we can have but few friends; this made Aristotle say that he that hath many friends hath none.

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Samuel Johnson

He that is warm for truth, and fearless in its defense, performs one of the duties of a good man; he strenghtens his own conviction, and guards others from delusion; but steadiness of belief, and boldness...

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Samuel Johnson

A contempt of the monuments and the wisdom of the past, may be justly reckoned one of the reigning follies of these days, to which pride and idleness have equally contributed.

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Samuel Johnson

How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?

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Samuel Johnson

Pension: An allowance made to anyone without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.

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Samuel Johnson

How small of all that human hearts endure/That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

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Samuel Johnson

Such is the constitution of man that labour may be styled its own reward; nor will any external incitements be requisite, if it be considered how much happiness is gained, and how much misery escaped,...

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Samuel Johnson

These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich, as their country is impoverished; they rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and...

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Samuel Johnson

Cucumber should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.

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Samuel Johnson

This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.

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Samuel Johnson

Nay, Madam, when you are declaiming, declaim; and when you are calculating, calculate.

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Samuel Johnson

Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind...

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Samuel Johnson

Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but...

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Samuel Johnson

Every man is of importance to himself.

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Samuel Johnson

Few men survey themselves with so much severity as not to admit prejudices in their own favor.

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Samuel Johnson

Let us take a patriot, where we can meet him; and, that we may not flatter ourselves by false appearances, distinguish those marks which are certain, from those which may deceive; for a man may have the...

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Samuel Johnson

Some claim a place in the list of patriots, by an acrimonious and unremitting opposition to the court. This mark is by no means infallible. Patriotism is not necessarily included in rebellion. A man may...

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Samuel Johnson

It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see publick dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears,...

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Samuel Johnson

He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights cannot be a patriot.

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Samuel Johnson

In a time of war the nation is always of one mind, eager to hear something good of themselves and ill of the enemy. At this time the task of the news-writer is easy; they have nothing to do but to tell...

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Samuel Johnson

It is unpleasing to represent our affairs to our own disadvantage; yet it is necessary to shew the evils which we desire to be removed.

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Samuel Johnson

He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience.

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Samuel Johnson

I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation...

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Samuel Johnson

Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.

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Samuel Johnson

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.

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Samuel Johnson

All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance.

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Samuel Johnson

The future is purchased by the present.

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Samuel Johnson

The truth is that the spectators are always in their senses, and know, from the first act to the last, that the stage is only a stage, and that the players are only players.

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Samuel Johnson

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.

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Samuel Johnson

Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, you must not neglect doing a thing immediately good from fear of remote evil; -from fear of its being abused.

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Samuel Johnson

If we will have the kindness of others, we must endure their follies.

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Samuel Johnson

We seldom learn the true want of what we have till it is discovered that we can have no more.

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Samuel Johnson

Idleness is often covered by turbulence and hurry. He that neglects his known duty and real employment naturally endeavours to crowd his mind with something that may bar out the remembrance of his own...

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Samuel Johnson

To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise...Let him take a course of chemistry, or a course of rope-dance, or...

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Samuel Johnson

Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.

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Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to farther progress.

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Samuel Johnson

Assertion is not argument; to contradict the statement of an opponent is not proof that you are correct.

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Samuel Johnson

Since every man is obliged to promote happiness and virtue, he should be careful not to mislead unwary minds, by appearing to set too high a value upon things by which no real excellence is conferred.

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Samuel Johnson

The disturbers of happiness are our desires, our griefs, and our fears.

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Samuel Johnson

To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise.

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Samuel Johnson

He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.

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Samuel Johnson

To hear complaints is wearisome alike to the wretched and the happy.

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Samuel Johnson

What we read with inclination makes a much stronger impression. If we read without inclination, half the mind is employed in fixing the attention; so there is but one half to be employed on what we read.

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Samuel Johnson

Life is barren enough surely with all her trappings; let us be therefore cautious of how we strip her.

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Samuel Johnson

Reproof should not exhaust its power upon petty failings.

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Samuel Johnson

All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.

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Samuel Johnson

Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.

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Samuel Johnson

Every period of life is obliged to borrow its happiness from time to come.

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Samuel Johnson

Philosophers there are who try to make themselves believe that this life is happy; but they believe it only while they are saying it, and never yet produced conviction in a single mind.

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Samuel Johnson

A merchant may, perhaps, be a man of an enlarged mind, but there is nothing in trade connected with an enlarged mind.

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Samuel Johnson

No man can enjoy happiness without thinking that he enjoys it.

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Samuel Johnson

Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.

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Samuel Johnson

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it.

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Samuel Johnson

Health is so necessary to all the duties, as well as pleasures of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly.

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Samuel Johnson

To preserve health is a moral and religious duty, for health is the basis of all social virtues. We can no longer be useful when not well.

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Samuel Johnson

Marriage is the best state for man in general, and every man is a worst man in proportion to the level he is unfit for marriage.

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Samuel Johnson

Moral sentences appear ostentatious and tumid, when they have no greater occasions than the journey of a wit to his home town: yet such pleasures and such pains make up the general mass of life; and as...

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Samuel Johnson

I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits

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Samuel Johnson

Men become friends by a community of pleasures.

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Samuel Johnson

Judgment is forced upon us by experience

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Samuel Johnson

We owe to memory not only the increase of our knowledge, and our progress in rational inquiries, but many other intellectual pleasures

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Samuel Johnson

When a man marries a widow his jealousies revert to the past: no man is as good as his wife says her first husband was

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Samuel Johnson

Attainment is followed by neglect, possession by disgust, and the malicious remark of the Greek epigrammatist on marriage may be applied to many another course of life, that its two days of happiness are...

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Samuel Johnson

Those who have any intention of deviating from the beaten roads of life, and acquiring a reputation superior to names hourly swept away by time among the refuse of fame, should add to their reason and...

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Samuel Johnson

Time quickly puts an end to artificial and accidental fame

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Samuel Johnson

You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.

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Samuel Johnson

Those who have no power to judge of past times but by their own, should always doubt their conclusions

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Samuel Johnson

Reason and truth will prevail at last

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Samuel Johnson

In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence.

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Samuel Johnson

If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary be not idle.

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Samuel Johnson

Confidence is a plant of slow growth; especially in an aged bosom

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Samuel Johnson

Hope itself is a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords; but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain.

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Samuel Johnson

Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, sickness and captivity would, without this comfort, be insupportable.

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Samuel Johnson

Yet it is necessary to hope, though hope should always be deluded, for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, however frequent, are yet less dreadful than its extinction.

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Samuel Johnson

The triumph of hope over experience.

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Samuel Johnson

When there is no hope, there can be no endeavor.

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Samuel Johnson

I have no more pleasure in hearing a man attempting wit and failing, than in seeing a man trying to leap over a ditch and tumbling into it

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Samuel Johnson

Whatever enlarges hope will also exalt courage.

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Samuel Johnson

Every reader should remember the diffidence of Socrates, and repair by his candour the injuries of time: he should impute the seeming defects of his author to some chasm of intelligence, and suppose that...

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Samuel Johnson

The present time is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with immediate enjoyment, and we are forced to supply its deficiencies by recollection or anticipation.

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Samuel Johnson

Language is the dress of thought; and as the noblest mien or most graceful action would be degraded and obscured by a garb appropriated to the gross employments of rusticks or mechanics, so the most heroick...

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Samuel Johnson

I should as soon think of contradicting a bishop

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Samuel Johnson

To fix the thoughts by writing, and subject them to frequent examinations and reviews, is the best method of enabling the mind to detect its own sophisms, and keep it on guard against the fallacies which...

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Samuel Johnson

I respect Millar: he has raised the price of literature

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Samuel Johnson

Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades the sacred hour of silent rest and leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast.

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Samuel Johnson

Justice is indispensably and universally necessary, and what is necessary must always be limited, uniform, and distinct

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Samuel Johnson

Whoever envies another confesses his superiority.

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Samuel Johnson

A coxcomb is ugly all over with the effectation of a fine gentleman.

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Samuel Johnson

From ignorance our comfort flows, the only wretched are the wise

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Samuel Johnson

Knowledge always desires increase, it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself.

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Samuel Johnson

A patriot is he whose public conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment,...

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Samuel Johnson

How can children credit the assertions of parents, which their own eyes show them to be false? Few parents act in such a manner as much to enforce their maxims by the credit of their lives

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Samuel Johnson

There are innumerable questions to which the inquisitive mind can in this state receive no answer: Why do you and I exist? Why was this world created? Since it was to be created, why was it not created...

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Samuel Johnson

A vow is a snare for sin

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Samuel Johnson

It may be laid down as a position which seldom deceives, that when a man cannot bear his own company, there is something wrong.

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Samuel Johnson

Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.

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Samuel Johnson

Learn that the present hour alone is man's.

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Samuel Johnson

Reflect that life, like every other blessing, Derives its value from its use alone.

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Samuel Johnson

The drama's laws the drama's patrons give. For we that live to please must please to live.

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Samuel Johnson

In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! From Marlborough's eyes the streams of dotage flow, And Swift expires a driveller and a show.

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Samuel Johnson

Catch, then, oh! catch the transient hour, Improve each moment as it flies; Life's a short summer-man a flower; He dies-alas! how soon he dies!

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Samuel Johnson

A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.

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Samuel Johnson

Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.

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Samuel Johnson

Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense. He whom nature has made weak, and idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of a critic.

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Samuel Johnson

Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.

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Samuel Johnson

Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may be properly charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it.

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Samuel Johnson

False taste is always busy to mislead those that are entering upon the regions of learning; and the traveller, uncertain of his way, and forsaken by the sun, will be pleased to see a fainter orb arise...

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing has so exposed men of learning to contempt and ridicule as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves. Those who have been taught to consider the institutions of the schools...

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Samuel Johnson

As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.

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Samuel Johnson

The friendship which is to be practised or expected by common mortals, must take its rise from mutual pleasure, and must end when the power ceases of delighting each other.

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Samuel Johnson

I hope I shall never be deterred from detecting what I think a cheat, by the menaces of a ruffian.

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing is difficult, when gain and honour unite their influence.

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Samuel Johnson

There is no temper more unpropitious to interest than desultory application and unlimited inquiry, by which the desires are held in a perpetual equipoise, and the mind fluctuates between different purposes...

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Samuel Johnson

He to whom many objects of pursuit arise at the same time, will frequently hesitate between different desires till a rival has precluded him, or change his course as new attractions prevail, and harass...

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Samuel Johnson

They whose activity of imagination is often shifting the scenes of expectation, are frequently subject to such sallies of caprice as make all their actions fortuitous, destroy the value of their friendship,...

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Samuel Johnson

The eye of the mind, like that of the body, can only extend its view to new objects, by losing sight of those which are now before it.

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Samuel Johnson

A man finds in the productions of nature an inexhaustible stock of material on which he can employ himself, without any temptations to envy or malevolence, and has always a certain prospect of discovering...

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Samuel Johnson

Rain is good for vegetables, and for the animals who eat those vegetables, and for the animals who eat those animals.

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Samuel Johnson

To hear complaints with patience, even when complaints are vain, is one of the duties of friendship.

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Samuel Johnson

For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill.

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Samuel Johnson

In all evils which admits a remedy, impatience should be avoided, because it wastes the time and attention in complaints which, if properly applied, might remove the cause.

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Samuel Johnson

In most ages many countries have had part of their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man. It is impossible not to conceive...

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Samuel Johnson

By the consultation of books, whether of dead or living authors, many temptations of petulance and opposition, which occur in oral conferences, are avoided. An authour cannot obtrude his advice unasked,...

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Samuel Johnson

Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.

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Samuel Johnson

The essence of poetry is invention; such invention as, by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights.

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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. He that labors in any great or laudable...

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Samuel Johnson

Of all kinds of credulity, the most obstinate is that of party-spirit; of men, who, being numbered, they know not why, in any party, resign the use of their own eyes and ears, and resolve to believe nothing...

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Samuel Johnson

The world is not yet exhausted: let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.

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Samuel Johnson

The purpose of a writer is to be read, and the criticism which would destroy the power of pleasing must be blown aside

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Samuel Johnson

Some read for style, and some for argument: one has little care about the sentiment, he observes only how it is expressed; another regards not the conclusion, but is diligent to mark how it is inferred;...

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Samuel Johnson

Among those whose reputation is exhausted in a short time by its own luxuriance are the writers who take advantage of present incidents or characters which strongly interest the passions, and engage universal...

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Samuel Johnson

Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss.

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Samuel Johnson

Hope is necessary in every condition.

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Samuel Johnson

That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments....

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Samuel Johnson

Hope is itself a species of happiness...

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Samuel Johnson

Round numbers are always false.

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Samuel Johnson

That distrust which intrudes so often on your mind is a mode of melancholy, which, if it be the business of a wise man to be happy, it is foolish to indulge; and if it be a duty to preserve our faculties...

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Samuel Johnson

Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.

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Samuel Johnson

Love has no great influences upon the sum of life.

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Samuel Johnson

Sleep is a state in which a great part of every life is passed. No animal has yet been discovered, whose existence is not varied with intervals of insensibility; and some late philosophers have extended...

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Samuel Johnson

A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk.

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Samuel Johnson

There is always something a woman will prefer to the truth.

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Samuel Johnson

Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off.

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Samuel Johnson

Combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world, by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practised perfidy grow faithless to each other.

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Samuel Johnson

To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.

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Samuel Johnson

Genius is that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.

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Samuel Johnson

Extended empires are like expanded gold, exchanging solid strength for feeble splendor.

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Samuel Johnson

It is commonly a weak man who marries for love.

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Samuel Johnson

I am willing to love all of mankind, except an American.

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Samuel Johnson

Nature never gives everything at once.

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Samuel Johnson

When a Man is tried of London, he is tired of life.

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Samuel Johnson

Sorrow is the mere rust of the soul. Activity will cleanse and brighten it.

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Samuel Johnson

If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.

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Samuel Johnson

Every government is perpetually degenerating towards corruption, from which it must be rescued at certain periods by the resuscitation of its first principles, and the re-establishment of its original...

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Samuel Johnson

Censure is willingly indulged, because it always implies some superiority: men please themselves with imagining that they have made a deeper search, or wider survey than others, and detected faults and...

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Samuel Johnson

It is not indeed certain, that the most refined caution will find a proper time for bringing a man to the knowledge of his own failing, or the most zealous benevolence reconcile him to that judgment by...

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Samuel Johnson

Few things are so liberally bestowed, or squandered with so little effect, as good advice.

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Samuel Johnson

Little would be wanting to the happiness of life, if every man could conform to the right as soon as he was shown it.

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Samuel Johnson

If we consider the manner in which those who assume the office of directing the conduct of others execute their undertaking, it will not be very wonderful that their labours, however zealous or affectionate,...

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Samuel Johnson

Advice, as it always gives a temporary appearance of superiority, can never be very grateful, even when it is most necessary or most judicious. But for the same reason everyone is eager to instruct his...

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Samuel Johnson

Vanity is so frequently the apparent motive of advice that we, for the most part, summon our powers to oppose it without very accurate inquiry whether it is right. It is sufficient that another is growing...

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Samuel Johnson

There are few so free from vanity as not to dictate to those who will hear their instructions with a visible sense of their own beneficence.

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Samuel Johnson

Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, or convicts us of any fault which had escaped our notice, but because it shows us that we are known to others as well as to ourselves;...

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Samuel Johnson

No man tells his opinion so freely as when he imagines it received with implicit veneration.

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Samuel Johnson

That there is something in advice very useful and salutary, seems to be equally confessed on all hands; since even those that reject it, allow for the most part that rejection to be wrong, but charge the...

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Samuel Johnson

The desire of advising has a very extensive prevalence; and, since advice cannot be given but to those that will hear it, a patient listener is necessary to the accommodation of all those who desire to...

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Samuel Johnson

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties.

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Samuel Johnson

Turn on the prudent ant thy heedful eyes. Observe her labors, sluggard, and be wise.

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Samuel Johnson

Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail.

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Samuel Johnson

No, Sir, you will have much more influence by giving or lending money where it is wanted, than by hospitality.

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Samuel Johnson

It would add much to human happiness, if an art could be taught of forgetting all of which the remembrance is at once useless and afflictive, that the mind might perform its functions without encumbrance,...

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Samuel Johnson

Of many, imagined blessings it may be doubted whether he that wants or possesses them had more reason to be satisfied with his lot.

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Samuel Johnson

We are told, that the black bear is innocent; but I should not like to trust myself with him.

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Samuel Johnson

An infallible characteristic of meanness is cruelty. Men who have practiced tortures on animals without pity, relating them without shame, how can they still hold their heads among human beings?

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Samuel Johnson

I have all my life long been lying in bed till noon; yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good.

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Samuel Johnson

Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls...

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Samuel Johnson

Exercise cannot secure us from that dissolution to which we are decreed; but while the soul and body continue united, it can make the association pleasing, and give probable hopes that they shall be disciplined...

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Samuel Johnson

You need a good editor because every writer thinks he can write a War and Peace, but by the time he gets it on paper, it's not War and Peace anymore; it's comic-book stuff. Your manuscript is both good...

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Samuel Johnson

Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil but its duty, like that of other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it. It should not be suffered to tyrannize in the imagination, to...

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected.

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Samuel Johnson

Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.

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Samuel Johnson

Scarcely any degree of judgment is sufficient to restrain the imagination from magnifying that on which it is long detained

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Samuel Johnson

Those that have done nothing in life, are not qualified to judge of those that have done little

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Samuel Johnson

Stand Firm for your country, and become a man Honour'd and lov'd: It were a noble life, To be found dead, embracing her.

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Samuel Johnson

The first step to greatness is to be honest.

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Samuel Johnson

Abuse is often of service. There is nothing so dangerous to an author as silence.

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Samuel Johnson

It is advantageous to an author that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must...

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Samuel Johnson

...it will not always happen that the success of a poet is proportionate to his labor.

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Samuel Johnson

Tediousness is the most fatal of all faults.

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Samuel Johnson

He that teaches us anything which we knew not before is undoubtedly to be reverenced as a master.

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Samuel Johnson

To talk in public, to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire and answer inquiries, is the business of the scholar

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Samuel Johnson

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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Samuel Johnson

There are indeed, in the present corruption of mankind, many incitements to forsake truth: the need of palliating our own faults and the convenience of imposing on the ignorance or credulity of others...

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Samuel Johnson

Evil is uncertain in the same degree as good, and for the reason that we ought not to hope too securely, we ought not to fear with to much dejection.

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Samuel Johnson

Oats. A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.

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Samuel Johnson

Almost all the moral good which is left among us is the apparent effect of physical evil.

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Samuel Johnson

He that never thinks can never be wise.

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Samuel Johnson

If what happens does not make us richer, we must welcome it if it makes us wiser.

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Samuel Johnson

The wise man applauds he who he thinks most virtuous; the rest of the world applauds the wealthy.

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Samuel Johnson

Knowledge is more than equivalent to force. The master of mechanics laughs at strength.

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Samuel Johnson

To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage.

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Samuel Johnson

Greece appears to be the fountain of knowledge; Rome of elegance

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Samuel Johnson

Every state of society is as luxurious as it can be. Men always take the best they can get.

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Samuel Johnson

The size of a man's understanding can be justly measured by his mirth.

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Samuel Johnson

No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.... There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.

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Samuel Johnson

It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly income, but are often actually in want of money. It is clear, they have not value for what they spend.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, he throws away his money without thought and without merit. I do not call a tree generous that sheds its fruit at every breeze.

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Samuel Johnson

One of the aged greatest miseries is that they cannot easily find a companion able to share the memories of the past.

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Samuel Johnson

Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion.

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Samuel Johnson

Wine gives great pleasure; and every pleasure is of itself a good. It is a good, unless counterbalanced by evil.

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Samuel Johnson

He said that few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forgo the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise contrive how to fill the interval between dinner and supper.

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Samuel Johnson

The habit of looking on the bright side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a year.

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Samuel Johnson

He who aspires to be a serious wine drinker must drink claret.

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Samuel Johnson

Lectures were once useful; but now when all can read, and books are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary.

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Samuel Johnson

Such is the state of every age, every sex, and every condition: all have their cares, either from nature or from folly; and whoever, therefore, finds himself inclined to envy another, should remember that...

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Samuel Johnson

Youth enters the world with very happy prejudices in her own favor. She imagines herself not only certain of accomplishing every adventure, but of obtaining those rewards which the accomplishment may deserve....

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Samuel Johnson

No member of society has the right to teach any doctrine contrary to what society holds to be true.

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Samuel Johnson

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.

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Samuel Johnson

No wise man will go to live in the country, unless he has something to do which can be better done in the country. For instance, if he is to shut himself up for a year to study science, it is better to...

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Samuel Johnson

They who have already enjoyed the crowds and noise of the great city, know their desire to return is little more than the restlessness of a vacant mind, that they are not so much led by hope as driven...

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Samuel Johnson

He that pursues fame with just claims, trusts his happiness to the winds; but he that endeavors after it by false merit, has to fear, not only the violence of the storm, but the leaks of his vessel.

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Samuel Johnson

Moderation is commonly firm, and firmness is commonly successful.

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Samuel Johnson

When once a man has made celebrity necessary to his happiness, he has put it in the power of the weakest and most timorous malignity, if not to take away his satisfaction, at least to withhold it. His...

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Samuel Johnson

All theory is against free will; all experience is for it.

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Samuel Johnson

I had done all that I could, and no Man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

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Samuel Johnson

Patience and submission are very carefully to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence. We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle; for the calamities of life, like the necessities of Nature,...

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Samuel Johnson

He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dulness in others.

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Samuel Johnson

Why, sir, Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an excess of stupidity, Sir, is not in Nature.

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Samuel Johnson

The process is the reality.

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Samuel Johnson

I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him; you have no business with consequences, you are to tell the truth.

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Samuel Johnson

When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four.

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Samuel Johnson

We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

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Samuel Johnson

Most men think indistinctly, and therefore cannot speak with exactness . . .

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Samuel Johnson

Your aspirations are your possibilities.

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Samuel Johnson

I know not why any one but a school boy in his declamation would whine over the Commonwealth of Rome, which grew great only by the misery of the rest of mankind. The Romans, like others, as soon as they...

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Samuel Johnson

It is, indeed, at home that every man must be known by those who would make a just estimate either of his virtue or felicity; for smiles and embroidery are alike occasional, and the mind is often dressed...

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Samuel Johnson

The violence of war admits no distinction; the lance, that is lifted at guilt and power, will sometimes fall on innocence and gentleness.

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Samuel Johnson

Much may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young.

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Samuel Johnson

To a people warlike and indigent, an incursion into a rich country is never hurtful.

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Samuel Johnson

The mathematicians are well acquainted with the difference between pure science, which has only to do with ideas, and the application of its laws to the use of life, in which they are constrained to submit...

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Samuel Johnson

Deviation from Nature is deviation from happiness.

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Samuel Johnson

A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who, instead of aiming a single stone at an object, takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit.

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Samuel Johnson

The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another.

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Samuel Johnson

The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.

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Samuel Johnson

Since life itself is uncertain, nothing which has life for its basis can boast much stability.

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Samuel Johnson

There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow.

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Samuel Johnson

The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.

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Samuel Johnson

Health is certainly more valuable than money, because it is by health that money is procured.

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Samuel Johnson

The liberty of using harmless pleasure will not be disputed; but it is still to be examined what pleasures are harmless.

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Samuel Johnson

The great source of pleasure is variety.

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Samuel Johnson

The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It...

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Samuel Johnson

That man is never happy for the present is so true, that all his relief from unhappiness is only forgetting himself for a little while. Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.

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Samuel Johnson

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

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Samuel Johnson

Grief is a species of idleness.

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Samuel Johnson

The business of life is to go forward.

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Samuel Johnson

Politics are now nothing more than means of rising in the world.

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Samuel Johnson

There is no observation more frequently made by such as employ themselves in surveying the conduct of mankind, than that marriage, though the dictate of nature, and the institution of Providence, is yet...

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Samuel Johnson

What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.

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Samuel Johnson

If one was to think constantly of death, the business of life would stand still

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Samuel Johnson

Each person's work is always a portrait of himself.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, he [Bolingbroke] was a scoundrel and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a...

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Samuel Johnson

The morality of an action depends on the motive from which we act. If I fling half a crown to a beggar with intention to break his head and he picks it up and buy victuals with it, the physical effect...

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Samuel Johnson

Friendship is not always the sequel of obligation....

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Samuel Johnson

I would advise you Sir, to study algebra, if you are not already an adept in it: your head would be less muddy, and you will leave off tormenting your neighbors about paper and packthread, while we all...

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Samuel Johnson

I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigrees of nations.

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Samuel Johnson

Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.

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Samuel Johnson

The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.

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Samuel Johnson

Cunning has effect from the credulity of others, rather than from the abilities of those who are cunning. It requires no extraordinary talents to lie and deceive.

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Samuel Johnson

All imposture weakens confidence and chills benevolence.

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Samuel Johnson

Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society.

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Samuel Johnson

Falsehoods of convenience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately visible ensues, except the general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and once uttered are sullenly...

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Samuel Johnson

Though I love to spend, I hate be cheated, and I found that to build is to be robbed.

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Samuel Johnson

That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.

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Samuel Johnson

To use two languages familiarly and without contaminating one by the other, is very difficult; and to use more than two is hardly to be hoped. The prizes which some have received for their multiplicity...

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Samuel Johnson

I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of the earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs...

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Samuel Johnson

He who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldom cures us of expectation, or has any other effect than that of producing a moral sentence or peevish exclamation.

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Samuel Johnson

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of language.

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Samuel Johnson

The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion of almost every wish is found a disappointment.

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Samuel Johnson

What signifies protesting so against flattery when a person speaks well of one, it must either be true or false, you know if true, let us rejoice in his good opinion if he lies, it is a proof at least...

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Samuel Johnson

The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things-the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.

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Samuel Johnson

He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many fold in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale.

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Samuel Johnson

We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass.

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Samuel Johnson

There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow, but there is something in it so like virtue, that he who is wholly without it cannot be loved.

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Samuel Johnson

Never, my dear Sir, do you take it into your head that I do not love you; you may settle yourself in full confidence both of my love and my esteem; I love you as a kind man, I value you as a worthy man,...

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Samuel Johnson

He that outlives a wife whom he has long loved, sees himself disjoined from the only mind that has the same hopes, and fears, and interest; from the only companion with whom he has shared much good and...

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Samuel Johnson

This was a good dinner enough, to be sure, but it was not a dinner to ask a man to.

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Samuel Johnson

Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with.

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Samuel Johnson

That all who are happy are equally happy is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. A small drinking glass and a large one may be equally full, but the large...

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Samuel Johnson

Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.

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Samuel Johnson

There must always be a struggle between a father and son, while one aims at power and the other at independence.

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Samuel Johnson

A man's mind grows narrow in a narrow place.

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Samuel Johnson

A man who is good enough to go to heaven is not good enough to be a clergyman.

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Samuel Johnson

Our minds should not be empty because if they are not preoccupied by good, evil will break in upon them.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsociable man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.

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Samuel Johnson

Prosperity's right hand is industry and her left hand is frugality.

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Samuel Johnson

Being reproached for giving to an unworthy person, Aristotle said, I did not give it to the man, but to humanity.

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Samuel Johnson

The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay, or dislike hourly increased by causes too slender for complaint, and too numerous for removal.

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Samuel Johnson

The great effect of friendship is beneficence, yet by the first act of uncommon kindness it is endangered.

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Samuel Johnson

Friendship, compounded of esteem and love, derives from one its tenderness and its permanence from the other.

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Samuel Johnson

He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience. We have always protected the Americans; we may therefore subject them to government.

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Samuel Johnson

No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.

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Samuel Johnson

As peace is the end of war, so to be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy.

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Samuel Johnson

Try and forget our cares and sickness, and contribute, as we can to the happiness of each other.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Composition is for the most part an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more...

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Samuel Johnson

Every other enjoyment malice may destroy; every other panegyric envy may withhold; but no human power can deprive the boaster of his own encomiums.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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Samuel Johnson

Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.

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Samuel Johnson

None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence.

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Samuel Johnson

Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument.

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Samuel Johnson

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain,...

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Samuel Johnson

Without good humour, learning and bravery can only confer that superiority which swells the heart of the lion in the desert, where he roars without reply, and ravages without resistance. Without good humour...

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Samuel Johnson

Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.

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Samuel Johnson

The mental disease of the present generation is impatience of study, contempt of the great masters of ancient wisdom, and a disposition to rely wholly upon unassisted genius and natural sagacity. The wits...

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Samuel Johnson

Men who have flattered themselves into this opinion of their own abilities, look down on all who waste their lives over books, as a race of inferior beings condemned by nature to perpetual pupilage, and...

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Samuel Johnson

To excite opposition and inflame malevolence is the unhappy privilege of courage made arrogant by consciousness of strength.

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Samuel Johnson

No cause more frequently produces bashfulness than too high an opinion of our own importance. He that imagines an assembly filled with his merit, panting with expectation, and hushed with attention, easily...

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Samuel Johnson

Few have abilities so much needed by the rest of the world as to be caressed on their own terms; and he that will not condescend to recommend himself by external embellishments must submit to the fate...

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Samuel Johnson

All violation of established practice implies in its own nature a rejection of the common opinion, a defiance of common censure, and an appeal from general laws to private judgment: he, therefore, who...

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Samuel Johnson

The appearance and retirement of actors are the great events of the theatrical world; and their first performances fill the pit with conjecture and prognostication, as the first actions of a new monarch...

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Samuel Johnson

All envy is proportionate to desire; we are uneasy at the attainments of another, according as we think our own happiness would be advanced by the addition of that which he withholds from us.

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Samuel Johnson

Very few live by choice. Every man is placed in his present condition by causes which acted without his foresight, and with which he did not always willingly cooperate; and therefore you will rarely meet...

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Samuel Johnson

A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.

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Samuel Johnson

His scorn of the great is repeated too often to be real; no man thinks much of that which he despises.

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Samuel Johnson

Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes, And pause a while from learning to be wise. There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,- Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.

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Samuel Johnson

Pride is seldom delicate, it will please itself with very mean advantages; and envy feels not its own happiness, but when it may be compared with the misery of others

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Samuel Johnson

Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day...

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Samuel Johnson

Many falsehoods are passing into uncontradicted history.

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Samuel Johnson

A translator is to be like his author; it is not his business to excel him.

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Samuel Johnson

Whatever you have spend less.

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Samuel Johnson

What ever the motive for the insult, it is always best to overlook it; for folly doesn't deserve resentment, and malice is punished by neglect.

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Samuel Johnson

I know not any crime so great that a man could contrive to commit as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.

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Samuel Johnson

Politics are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage in politics, and their whole conduct proceeds upon it.

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Samuel Johnson

If, sir, men were all virtuous, I should with great alacrity teach them all to fly. But what would be the security of the good if the bad could at pleasure invade them from the sky? Against an army sailing...

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Samuel Johnson

Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages.

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Samuel Johnson

More knowledge may be gained of a man's real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative, begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral.

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Samuel Johnson

The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking

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Samuel Johnson

He that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.

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Samuel Johnson

Wise married women don't trouble themselves about infidelity in their husbands.

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Samuel Johnson

None but those who have learned the art of subjecting their senses as well as reason to hypothetical systems can be persuaded by the most specious rhetorician that the lots of life are equal; yet it cannot...

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Samuel Johnson

There are occasions on which it is noble to dare to stand alone. To be pious among infidels, to be disinterested in a time of general venality, to lead a life of virtue and reason in the midst of sensualists,...

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Samuel Johnson

Pride is a vice, which pride itself inclines every man to find in others, and to overlook in himself

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.

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Samuel Johnson

There are in every age new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed.

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Samuel Johnson

Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.

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Samuel Johnson

Golf is a game in which you claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood.

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Samuel Johnson

Whatever is formed for long duration arrives slowly to its maturity.

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Samuel Johnson

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes...

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Samuel Johnson

No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.

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Samuel Johnson

He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood.

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Samuel Johnson

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

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Samuel Johnson

When the eye or the imagination is struck with an uncommon work, the next transition of an active mind is to the means by which it was performed

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Samuel Johnson

The majority have no other reason for their opinions than that they are the fashion.

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Samuel Johnson

The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.

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Samuel Johnson

No one ever became great by imitation.

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Samuel Johnson

He was dull in a new way, and that made many think him great.

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Samuel Johnson

Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.

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Samuel Johnson

People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.

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Samuel Johnson

Women have two weapons - cosmetics and tears

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Samuel Johnson

What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known.

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Samuel Johnson

Quotation is the highest compliment you can pay an author.

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Samuel Johnson

Age is rarely despised but when it is, contemptible.

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Samuel Johnson

The world will never be long without some good reason to hate the unhappy; their real faults are immediately detected; and if those are not sufficient to sink them into infamy, an individual weight of...

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Samuel Johnson

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.

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Samuel Johnson

It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy and yet unenvied, to be healthy with physic, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to...

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Samuel Johnson

Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.

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Samuel Johnson

This mournful truth is everywhere confessed, slow rises worth by poverty depressed.

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Samuel Johnson

Poverty is often concealed in splendor, and often in extravagance. It is the task of many people to conceal their neediness from others. Consequently they support themselves by temporary means, and everyday...

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Samuel Johnson

Always, Sir, set a high value on spontaneous kindness. he whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord, will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach...

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Samuel Johnson

He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor.

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Samuel Johnson

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.

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Samuel Johnson

To be free it is not enough to beat the system, one must beat the system every day

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Samuel Johnson

Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation.

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Samuel Johnson

Age looks with anger on the temerity of youth, and youth with contempt on the scrupulosity of age.

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Samuel Johnson

I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.

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Samuel Johnson

One of the amusements of idleness is reading without fatigue of close attention; and the world, therefore, swarms with writers whose wish is not to be studied, but to be read.

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Samuel Johnson

Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing.

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Samuel Johnson

High people, sir, are the best; take a hundred ladies of quality, you'll find them better wives, better mothers, more willing to sacrifice their own pleasures to their children, than a hundred other woman.

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Samuel Johnson

Fine clothes are good only as they supply the want of other means of procuring respect.

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Samuel Johnson

The only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.

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Samuel Johnson

The ambition of superior sensibility and superior eloquence disposes the lovers of arts to receive rapture at one time, and communicate it at another; and each labors first to impose upon himself and then...

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Samuel Johnson

Long customs are not easily broken; he that attempts to change the course of his own life very often labors in vain; and how shall we do that for others, which we are seldom able to do for ourselves.

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Samuel Johnson

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.

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Samuel Johnson

No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had

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Samuel Johnson

Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach.

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Samuel Johnson

Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.

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Samuel Johnson

Men have solicitude about fame; and the greater share they have of it, the more afraid they are of losing it.

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Samuel Johnson

It is necessary to the success of flattery, that it be accommodated to particular circumstances or characters, and enter the heart on that side where the passions are ready to receive it.

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Samuel Johnson

Flattery pleases very generally. In the first place, the flatterer may think what he says to be true; but, in the second place, whether he thinks so or not, he certainly thinks those whom he flatters of...

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Samuel Johnson

Happiness is enjoyed only in proportion as it is known; and such is the state or folly of man, that it is known only by experience of its contrary.

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Samuel Johnson

The fiction of happiness is propagated by every tongue and confirmed by every look till at last all profess the joy which they do not feel and consent to yield to the general delusion.

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Samuel Johnson

A man may be very sincere in good principles, without having good practice.

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Samuel Johnson

If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written.

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Samuel Johnson

It is not uncommon to charge the difference between promise and performance, between profession and reality, upon deep design and studied deceit; but the truth is, that there is very little hypocrisy in...

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Samuel Johnson

Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy, affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly; the one completes a villain, the other only finishes a fop.

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Samuel Johnson

Books without the knowledge of life are useless.

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Samuel Johnson

The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.

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Samuel Johnson

He was so generally civil, that nobody thanked him for it.

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Samuel Johnson

It is not from reason and prudence that people marry, but from inclination.

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Samuel Johnson

I would advise no man to marry who is not likely to propagate understanding.

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Samuel Johnson

There is certainly no greater happiness than to be able to look back on a life usefully and virtuously employed, to trace our own progress in existence, by such tokens as excite neither shame nor sorrow.

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Samuel Johnson

The true art of memory is the art of attention.

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Samuel Johnson

In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.

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Samuel Johnson

No mind is much employed upon the present; recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments.

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Samuel Johnson

Of all the grief's that harass the distressed; sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.

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Samuel Johnson

If the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.

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Samuel Johnson

There is scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his reader with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets.

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Samuel Johnson

When female minds are embittered by age or solitude, their malignity is generally exerted in a rigorous and spiteful superintendence of domestic trifles.

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Samuel Johnson

Our minds, like our bodies, are in continual flux; something is hourly lost, and something acquired.... Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the...

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Samuel Johnson

He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions.

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Samuel Johnson

I have already enjoyed too much; give me something to desire.

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Samuel Johnson

Happiness," said he, "must be something solid and permanent, without fear and without uncertainty.

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Samuel Johnson

A ship is worse than a gaol. There is, in a gaol, better air, better company, better conveniency of every kind; and a ship has the additional disadvantage of of being in danger.

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Samuel Johnson

Men go to sea, before they know the unhappiness of that way of life; and when they have come to know it, they cannot escape from it, because it is then too late to choose another profession; as indeed...

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Samuel Johnson

That friendship may be at once fond and lasting, there must not only be equal virtue on each part, but virtue of the same kind; not only the same end must be proposed, but the same means must be approved...

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Samuel Johnson

A soldier's time is passed in distress and danger, or in idleness and corruption.

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Samuel Johnson

It is not the desire of new acquisitions, but the glory of conquests, that fires the soldier's breast; as indeed the town is seldom worth much, when it has suffered the devastations of a siege.

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Samuel Johnson

As any action or posture, long continued, will distort and disfigure the limbs, so the mind likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual application to the same set of ideas.

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Samuel Johnson

The most Heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together.

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Samuel Johnson

There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.

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Samuel Johnson

Our aspirations are our possibilities.

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Samuel Johnson

It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content.

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.

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Samuel Johnson

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.

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Samuel Johnson

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.

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Samuel Johnson

There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.

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Samuel Johnson

Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.

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Samuel Johnson

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

My dear friend, clear your mind of can't.

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Samuel Johnson

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.

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Samuel Johnson

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.

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Samuel Johnson

Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen.

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Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

What is easy is seldom excellent.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

You hesitate to stab me with a word, and know not - silence is the sharper sword.

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Samuel Johnson

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Actions are visible, though motives are secret.

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Samuel Johnson

When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.

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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...

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Samuel Johnson

A wise man is cured of ambition by ambition itself; his aim is so exalted that riches, office, fortune and favour cannot satisfy him.

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Samuel Johnson

Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.

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Samuel Johnson

By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.

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Samuel Johnson

That eminence of learning is not to be gained without labour, at least equal to that which any other kind of greatness can require, will be allowed by those who wish to elevate the character of a scholar;...

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Where there is no difficulty there is no praise.

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Samuel Johnson

The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.

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Samuel Johnson

No man can perform so little as not to have reason to congratulate himself on his merits, when he beholds the multitude that live in total idleness, and have never yet endeavoured to be useful.

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Samuel Johnson

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.

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Samuel Johnson

All industry must be excited by hope.

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Samuel Johnson

Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.

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Samuel Johnson

He that floats lazily down the stream, in pursuit of something borne along by the same current, will find himself indeed moved forward; but unless he lays his hand to the oar, and increases his speed by...

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Samuel Johnson

Language is the dress of thought.

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Samuel Johnson

To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity; the next is, to strive, and deserve to conquer: but he whose life has passed without a contest, and who can boast neither...

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Samuel Johnson

The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.

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Samuel Johnson

Exercise is labor without weariness.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him more pleasing to others.

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Samuel Johnson

It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Wine gives a man nothing... it only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.

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Samuel Johnson

Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Words are but the signs of ideas.

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Samuel Johnson

Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?

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Samuel Johnson

Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

Love is only one of many passions.

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Samuel Johnson

A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.

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Samuel Johnson

A man will turn over half a library to make one book.

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Samuel Johnson

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.

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Samuel Johnson

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but, one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

You teach your daughters the diameters of the planets and wonder when you are done that they do not delight in your company.

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Samuel Johnson

I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.

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Samuel Johnson

Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.

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Samuel Johnson

No man was ever great by imitation.

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.

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Samuel Johnson

The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down.

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Samuel Johnson

There are charms made only for distant admiration.

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Samuel Johnson

He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.

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Samuel Johnson

Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.

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Samuel Johnson

It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.

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Samuel Johnson

It is better to live rich than to die rich.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Paradise Lost is a book that, once put down, is very hard to pick up again.

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Samuel Johnson

Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.

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Samuel Johnson

There are some sluggish men who are improved by drinking; as there are fruits that are not good until they are rotten.

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Samuel Johnson

To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.

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Samuel Johnson

We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.

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Samuel Johnson

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

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Samuel Johnson

When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped.

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Samuel Johnson

Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

A man ought to read just as inclination leads him, for what he reads as a task will do him little good.

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Samuel Johnson

A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.

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Samuel Johnson

A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.

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Samuel Johnson

Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.

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Samuel Johnson

He who praises everybody, praises nobody.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.

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Samuel Johnson

Nobody can write the life of a man but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.

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Samuel Johnson

The two offices of memory are collection and distribution.

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Samuel Johnson

The wretched have no compassion, they can do good only from strong principles of duty.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

When a man says he had pleasure with a woman he does not mean conversation.

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Samuel Johnson

A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.

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Samuel Johnson

Adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is most beneficial to us.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

At seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest.

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Samuel Johnson

Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all.

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Samuel Johnson

Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed.

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Samuel Johnson

Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.

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Samuel Johnson

Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

Everything that enlarges the sphere of human powers, that shows man he can do what he thought he could not do, is valuable.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just.

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Samuel Johnson

I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.

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Samuel Johnson

I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.

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Samuel Johnson

I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney.

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Samuel Johnson

If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it?

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Samuel Johnson

It generally happens that assurance keeps an even pace with ability.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.

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Samuel Johnson

Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking.

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Samuel Johnson

Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.

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Samuel Johnson

So many objections may be made to everything, that nothing can overcome them but the necessity of doing something.

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Samuel Johnson

Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.

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Samuel Johnson

That we must all die, we always knew; I wish I had remembered it sooner.

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Samuel Johnson

The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

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

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

There is, indeed, nothing that so much seduces reason from vigilance, as the thought of passing life with an amiable woman.

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Samuel Johnson

Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in battle.

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Samuel Johnson

When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

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Samuel Johnson

When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land.

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury, than by giving it; for by spending it in luxury, you make them exert industry, whereas...

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

It is not true that people are naturally equal for no two people can be together for even a half an hour without one acquiring an evident superiority over the other.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by showing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time.

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Samuel Johnson

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.

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Samuel Johnson

Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of...

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Samuel Johnson

To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.

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Samuel Johnson

It is dangerous for mortal beauty, or terrestrial virtue, to be examined by too strong a light. The torch of Truth shows much that we cannot, and all that we would not, see.

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Samuel Johnson

Surely a long life must be somewhat tedious, since we are forced to call in so many trifling things to help rid us of our time, which will never return.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

To get a name can happen but to few; it is one of the few things that cannot be brought. It is the free gift of mankind, which must be deserved before it will be granted, and is at last unwillingly bestowed.

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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.

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Samuel Johnson

What makes all doctrines plain and clear? About two hundred pounds a year. And that which was proved true before, prove false again? Two hundred more.

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Samuel Johnson

I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.

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Samuel Johnson

Our desires always increase with our possessions. The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.

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Samuel Johnson

You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labor, than when you give money merely in charity.

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Samuel Johnson

The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts.

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Samuel Johnson

When any anxiety or gloom of the mind takes hold of you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaining; but exert yourselves to hide it, and by endeavoring to hide it you drive it away.

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Samuel Johnson

When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints.

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Samuel Johnson

God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?

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Samuel Johnson

It is necessary to hope... for hope itself is happiness.

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Samuel Johnson

I am a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has, for twenty years, diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the...

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Samuel Johnson

Those who attempt nothing themselves think every thing easily performed, and consider the unsuccessful always as criminal.

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Samuel Johnson

There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.

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Samuel Johnson

To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by faith and hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed...

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, they are a race of convicts and ought to be grateful for anything we allow them short of hanging.

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Samuel Johnson

Life will not bear refinement. You must do as other people do.

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Samuel Johnson

Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.

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Samuel Johnson

An age that melts in unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away.

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Samuel Johnson

Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.

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Samuel Johnson

When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.

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Samuel Johnson

Men who cannot deceive others are very often successful at deceiving themselves.

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Samuel Johnson

Tomorrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale.

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Samuel Johnson

Those writers who lie on the watch for novelty can have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation.

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Samuel Johnson

In traveling, a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.

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Samuel Johnson

Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gift can be enjoyed, and remember that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction.

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Samuel Johnson

Avarice is always poor.

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Samuel Johnson

Pity is not natural to man. Children and savages are always cruel. Pity is acquired and improved by the cultivation of reason. We may have uneasy sensations from seeing a creature in distress, without...

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Samuel Johnson

Pleasure that is obtained by unreasonable and unsuitable cost must always end in pain.

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Samuel Johnson

In bed we laugh, in bed we cry, and born in bed, in bed we die; the near approach a bed may show of human bliss to human woe.

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Samuel Johnson

He endearing elegance of female friendship.

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Samuel Johnson

Security will produce danger.

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Samuel Johnson

Officious, innocent, sincere, Of every friendless name the friend.

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Samuel Johnson

A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.

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Samuel Johnson

Friendship is seldom lasting but between equals, or where the superiority on one side is reduced by some equivalent advantage on the other.

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Samuel Johnson

A man is not obliged honestly to answer a question which should not properly be put.

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Samuel Johnson

Suspicion is most often useless pain.

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Samuel Johnson

Labor, if it were not necessary for existence, would be indispensable for the happiness of man.

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Samuel Johnson

There are occasions on which all apologies are rudeness.

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Samuel Johnson

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

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Samuel Johnson

He who endeavors to please must appear pleased.

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Samuel Johnson

We all live in the hope of pleasing somebody; and the pleasure of pleasing ought to be greatest, and always will be greatest, when our endeavors are exerted in consequence of our duty.

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Samuel Johnson

It is our first duty to serve society.

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Samuel Johnson

men do not suspect faults which they do not commit

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Samuel Johnson

A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other.

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Samuel Johnson

Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much; Who, born for the Universe, narrowed his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.

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Samuel Johnson

Poetry cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well...

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Samuel Johnson

It is very natural for young men to be vehement, acrimonious and severe. For as they seldom comprehend at once all the consequences of a position, or perceive the difficulties by which cooler and more...

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why should you number up my cups of tea?

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Samuel Johnson

We never do anything consciously for the last time without sadness of heart.

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Samuel Johnson

The traveler that resolutely follows a rough and winding path will sooner reach the end of his journey than he that is always changing his direction, and wastes the hour of daylight in looking for smoother...

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Samuel Johnson

He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.

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Samuel Johnson

No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance.

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Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.

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Samuel Johnson

As to precedents, to be sure they will increase in course of time; but the more precedents there are, the less occasion is there for law; that is to say, the less occasion is there for investigating principles.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, it is wrong to stir up law-suits; but when once it is certain that a law-suit is to go on, there is nothing wrong in a lawyer's endeavouring that he shall have the benefit, rather than another.

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Samuel Johnson

There ambush here relentless ruffians lay, And here the fell attorney prowls for prey.

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Samuel Johnson

It was his peculiar happiness that he scarcely ever found a stranger whom he did not leave a friend; but it must likewise be added, that he had not often a friend long without obliging him to become a...

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Samuel Johnson

To embarrass justice by multiplicity of laws, or to hazard it by confidence in judges, seem to be the opposite rocks on which all civil institutions have been wrecked, and between which legislative wisdom...

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Samuel Johnson

Self-love is often rather arrogant than blind; it does not hide our faults from ourselves, but persuades us that they escape the notice of others.

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Samuel Johnson

Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favorable to virtue. Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.

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Samuel Johnson

He who has provoked the shaft of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.

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Samuel Johnson

Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content. No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of the spring: no man can, at the same time, fill...

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Samuel Johnson

They who most loudly clamour for liberty do not most liberally grant it.

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Samuel Johnson

They make a rout about universal liberty, without considering that all that is to be valued, or indeed can be enjoyed by individuals, is private liberty.

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Samuel Johnson

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections of their author. To confer duration is not always in our power. We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without...

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Samuel Johnson

I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful; for not only every man has, in the mighty mass of the world, great numbers in the...

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Samuel Johnson

We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.

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Samuel Johnson

It is natural for every man uninstructed to murmur at his condition, because, in the general infelicity of life, he feels his own miseries without knowing that they are common to all the rest of the species;...

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Samuel Johnson

The gratification which affluence of wealth, extent of power, and eminence of reputation confer, must be always, by their own nature, confined to a very small number; and the life of the greater part of...

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Samuel Johnson

The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate; those soft intervals of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his...

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Samuel Johnson

The necessities of our condition require a thousand offices of tenderness, which mere regard for the species will never dictate.

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Samuel Johnson

Every man has frequent grievances which only the solicitude of friendship will discover and remedy, and which would remain for ever unheeded in the mighty heap of human calamity, were it only surveyed...

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Samuel Johnson

Faults and defects every work of man must have.

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Samuel Johnson

All envy would be extinguished, if it were universally known that there are none to be envied.

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Samuel Johnson

There is reason to suspect, that the distinctions of mankind have more show than value, when it is found that all agree to be weary alike of pleasures and of cares; that the powerful and the weak, the...

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Samuel Johnson

Every class of society has its cant of lamentation, which is understood or regarded by none but themselves; and every part of life has its uneasiness, which those who do not feel them will not commiserate....

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Samuel Johnson

No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance, or to extinguish the desire of fond endearments and tender officiousness; and, therefore, no one should...

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Samuel Johnson

Those whose abilities or knowledge incline them most to deviate from the general round of life are recalled from eccentricity by the laws of their existence.

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Samuel Johnson

Human happiness has always its abatements; the brightest sunshine of success is not without a cloud.

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Samuel Johnson

We are unreasonably desirous to separate the goods of life from those evils which Providence has connected with them, and to catch advantages without paying the price at which they are offered to us. Every...

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Samuel Johnson

The hostility perpetually exercised between one man and another, is caused by the desire of many for that which only few can possess. Every man would be rich, powerful, and famous; yet fame, power, and...

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Samuel Johnson

The power, indeed, of every individual is small, and the consequence of his endeavours imperceptible, in a general prospect of the world. Providence has given no man ability to do much, that something...

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Samuel Johnson

Men, however distinguished by external accidents or intrinsick qualities, have all the same wants, the same pains, and, as far as the senses are consulted, the same pleasures.

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Samuel Johnson

The most useful truths are always universal, and unconnected with accidents and customs.

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Samuel Johnson

The uniform necessities of human nature produce in a great measure uniformity of life, and for part of the day make one place like another; to dress and to undress, to eat and to sleep, are the same in...

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Samuel Johnson

He that compares what he has done with what he has left undone, will feel the effect which must always follow the comparison of imagination with reality; he will look with contempt on his own unimportance,...

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Samuel Johnson

He that would travel for the entertainment of others, should remember that the great object of remark is human life. Every nation has something peculiar in its manufactures, its works of genius, its medicines,...

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Samuel Johnson

It is commonly supposed that the uniformity of a studious life affords no matter for narration: but the truth is, that of the most studious life a great part passes without study. An author partakes of...

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Samuel Johnson

Come, let me know what it is that makes a Scotch man happy!

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Samuel Johnson

"Uisce Beatha" is a compounded distilled spirit being drawn on aromatics, and the Irish sort is particularly distinguished for its pleasant and mild flavour.

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Samuel Johnson

In misery's darkest cavern known, His useful care was ever nigh Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan, And lonely want retir'd to die.

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Samuel Johnson

"I fly from pleasure," said the prince, "because pleasure has ceased to please; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others."

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Samuel Johnson

To tell of disappointment and misery, to thicken the darkness of futurity, and perplex the labyrinth of uncertainty, has been always a delicious employment of the poets

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Samuel Johnson

Those who are in the power of evil habits must conquer them as they can; and conquered they must be, or neither wisdom nor happiness can be attained: but those who are not yet subject to their influence...

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Samuel Johnson

Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.

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Samuel Johnson

It is the just doom of laziness and gluttony to be inactive without ease and drowsy without tranquility.

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Samuel Johnson

There is no kind of idleness by which we are so easily seduced as that which dignifies itself by the appearance of business.

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Samuel Johnson

I soon found that wit, like every other power, has its boundaries; that its success depends upon the aptitude of others to receive impressions; and that as some bodies, indissoluble by heat, can set the...

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Samuel Johnson

No weakness of the human mind has more frequently incurred animadversion, than the negligence with which men overlook their own faults, however flagrant, and the easiness with which they pardon them, however...

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Samuel Johnson

Go into the street, and give one man a lecture on morality, and another a shilling, and see which will respect you most.

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Samuel Johnson

Prudence is an attitude that keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.

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Samuel Johnson

Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.

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Samuel Johnson

The happiness of London is not to be conceived but by those who have been in it.

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Samuel Johnson

Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.

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Samuel Johnson

There is little peace or comfort in life if we are always anxious as to future events. He that worries himself with the dread of possible contingencies will never be at rest.

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Samuel Johnson

Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take...

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Samuel Johnson

Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new.

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Samuel Johnson

Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know That life protracted is protracted woe.

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Samuel Johnson

We took tea, by Boswell's desire; and I eat one bun, I think, that I might not be seen to fast ostentatiously. When I find that so much of my life has stolen unprofitably away, and that I can descry by...

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Samuel Johnson

He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into the short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, sorrow is inherent in humanity. As you cannot judge two and two to be either five, or three, but certainly four, so, when comparing a worse present state with a better which is past, you cannot but...

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Samuel Johnson

For sorrow there is no remedy provided by nature; it is often occasioned by accidents irreparable, and dwells upon objects that have lost or changed their existence; it requires what it cannot hope, that...

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Samuel Johnson

But though it cannot be reasonable not to gain happiness for fear of losing it, yet it must be confessed, that in proportion to the pleasure of possession, will be for some time our sorrow for the loss.

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Samuel Johnson

The safe and general antidote against sorrow is employment. It is commonly observed, that among soldiers and seamen, though there is much kindness, there is little grief; they see their friend fall without...

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Samuel Johnson

If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.

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Samuel Johnson

From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,- Path, motive, guide, original, and end.

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Samuel Johnson

The authour who imitates his predecessors only by furnishing himself with thoughts and elegances out of the same general magazine of literature, can with little more propriety be reproached as a plagiary,...

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Samuel Johnson

No writer can be fully convicted of imitation except there is a concurrence of more resemblance than can be imagined to have happened by chance; as where the same ideas are conjoined without any natural...

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Samuel Johnson

As not every instance of similitude can be considered as a proof of imitation, so not every imitation ought to be stigmatised as plagiarism. The adoption of a noble sentiment, or the insertion of a borrowed...

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Samuel Johnson

The complaint, therefore, that all topicks are preoccupied, is nothing more than the murmur of ignorance or idleness, by which some discourage others, and some themselves; the mutability of mankind will...

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Samuel Johnson

To exact of every man who writes that he should say something new, would be to reduce authors to a small number; to oblige the most fertile genius to say only what is new, would be to contract his volumes...

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Samuel Johnson

To do nothing is in everyone's power.

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Samuel Johnson

No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing can be truly great which is not right.

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Samuel Johnson

You can never be wise unless you love reading.

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Samuel Johnson

To expect that the intricacies of science will be pierced by a careless glance, or the eminences of fame ascended without labour, is to expect a peculiar privilege, a power denied to the rest of mankind;...

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Samuel Johnson

The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket; a very few names may be considered as perpetual lamps that shine unconsumed.

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Samuel Johnson

On Sir Joshua Reynolds's observing that the real character of a man was found out by his amusements. Yes, Sir, no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

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Samuel Johnson

In a man’s letters his soul lies naked.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, what is poetry? Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is.

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Samuel Johnson

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Those that walk with vigor, three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.

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Samuel Johnson

All discourse of which others cannot partake is not only an irksome usurpation of the time devoted to pleasure and entertainment, but, what never fails to excite resentment, an insolent assertion of superiority,...

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Samuel Johnson

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding.

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Samuel Johnson

Modern writers are the moons of literature; they shine with reflected light, with light borrowed from the ancients.

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Samuel Johnson

Misery is caused for the most part, not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which canker enjoyment, and undermine security. The visit of an invader is necessarily...

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Samuel Johnson

From all our observations we may collect with certainty, that misery is the lot of man, but cannot discover in what particular condition it will find most alleviations.

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Samuel Johnson

Much mischief is done in the world with very little interest or design.

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Samuel Johnson

The misery of man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations continually repeated.

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Samuel Johnson

Men are most powerfully affected by those evils which themselves feel, or which appear before their own eyes.

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Samuel Johnson

Frequent discontent must proceed from frequent hardships.

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Samuel Johnson

Misery and shame are nearly allied.

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Samuel Johnson

Religion informs us that misery and sin were produced together. The depravation of human will was followed by a disorder of the harmony of nature; and by that Providence which often places antidotes in...

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Samuel Johnson

Do not discourage your children from hoarding, if they have a taste to it; whoever lays up his penny rather than part with it for a cake, at least is not the slave of gross appetite; and shows besides...

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Samuel Johnson

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas; he that reads books of science, thogh without any fixed desire of improvement, will grow more knowing...

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Samuel Johnson

Criticism, though dignified from the earliest ages by the labours of men eminent for knowledge and sagacity, has not yet attained the certainty and stability of science.

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Samuel Johnson

Even those to whom Providence has allotted greater strength of understanding, can expect only to improve a single science. In every other part of learning, they must be content to follow opinions, which...

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Samuel Johnson

Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.

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Samuel Johnson

Learn the leading precognita of all things-no need to turn over leaf by leaf, but grasp the trunk hard and you will shake all the branches. Advice cherished by Samuel Johnson that that, if one is to master...

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Samuel Johnson

Hoc age ['do this'] is the great rule, whether you are serious or merry; whether ... learning science or duty from a folio, or floating on the Thames. Intentions must be gathered from acts.

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Samuel Johnson

I will venture to say there is more learning and science within the circumference of ten miles from where we now sit [in London], than in all the rest of the kingdom.

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Samuel Johnson

If a man has a science to learn he must regularly and resolutely advance.

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Samuel Johnson

Nothing has tended more to retard the advancement of science than the disposition in vulgar minds to vilify what they cannot comprehend.

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Samuel Johnson

A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity.

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Samuel Johnson

There prevails among men of letters, an opinion, that all appearance of science is particularly hateful to Women; and that therefore whoever desires to be well received in female assemblies, must qualify...

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Samuel Johnson

Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs.

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Samuel Johnson

The finest landscape in the world is improved by a good inn in the foreground.

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Samuel Johnson

The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul; it inflames and...

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Samuel Johnson

Among the lower classes of mankind there will be found very little desire of any other knowledge than what may contribute immediately to the relief of some pressing uneasiness, or the attainment of some...

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Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last; and perhaps always predominates in proportion to the strength of the contemplative faculties. He who easily comprehends all that...

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Samuel Johnson

Curiosity, like all other desires, produces pain as well as pleasure.

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Samuel Johnson

I am far from any intention to limit curiosity, or confine the labours of learning to arts of immediate and necessary use. It is only from the various essays of experimental industry, and the vague excursions...

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Samuel Johnson

But the distant hope of being one day useful or eminent ought not to mislead us too far from that study which is equally requisite to the great and mean, to the celebrated and obscure; the art of moderating...

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Samuel Johnson

Those who have past much of their lives in this great city, look upon its opulence and its multitudes, its extent and variety, with cold indifference; but an inhabitant of the remoter parts of the kingdom...

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Samuel Johnson

Fly-fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.

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Samuel Johnson

I do not know, sir, that the fellow is an infidel; but if he be an infidel, he is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.

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Samuel Johnson

Memory is the primary and fundamental power, without which there could be no other intellectual operation.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts. It is...

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Samuel Johnson

I do not wonder that, where the monastick life is permitted, every order finds votaries, and every monastery inhabitants. Men will submit to any rule, by which they may be exempted from the tyranny of...

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Samuel Johnson

Women can spin very well, but they cannot write a good book of cookery.

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Samuel Johnson

If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down...

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Samuel Johnson

The inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence.

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Samuel Johnson

People have now a-days got a strange opinion that every thing should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do as much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken.

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Samuel Johnson

Great abilities are not requisite for an Historian; for in historical composition, all the greatest powers of the human mind are quiescent.

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Samuel Johnson

Network. Anything reticulated or decussated at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections.

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Samuel Johnson

The business of the poet, said Imlac, is to examine, not the individual, but the species.

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Samuel Johnson

Example is always more efficacious than precept.

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Samuel Johnson

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.

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Samuel Johnson

Men hate more steadily than they love.

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Samuel Johnson

Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove The pangs of guilty power and hapless love! Rest here, distress'd by poverty no more; Here find that calm thou gav'st so oft before; Sleep undisturb'd within...

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Samuel Johnson

Among the calamities of war may be numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates, and credulity encourages.

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Samuel Johnson

In a man's letters you know, Madam, his soul lies naked, his letters are only the mirror of his breast, whatever passes within him is shown undisguised in its natural process. Nothing is inverted, nothing...

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Samuel Johnson

A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation - a proof of unwillingness to do much, even where there is a necessity of doing something.

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Samuel Johnson

Sir, you have but two topics, yourself and me. I am sick of both.

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Samuel Johnson

Smoking is a shocking thing - blowing smoke out of our mouths into other people's mouths, eyes, and noses, and having the same thing done to us.

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Samuel Johnson

Courtesy and good humor are often found with little real worth.

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Samuel Johnson

Lichfield, England. Swallows certainly sleep all winter. A number of them conglobulate together, by flying round and round, and then all in a heap throw themselves under water, and lye in the bed of a...

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Samuel Johnson

A transition from an author's book to his conversation is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces,...

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Samuel Johnson

He left the name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

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Samuel Johnson

It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the mind is actually employed in the discharge of any profession.

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Samuel Johnson

To set the mind above the appetites is the end of abstinence, which if not a virtue, is the groundwork of a virtue.

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Samuel Johnson

If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.

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Samuel Johnson

The truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.

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Samuel Johnson

There are few minds to which tyranny is not delightful.

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Samuel Johnson

The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercized in due subordination to the public good, I cannot but propose...

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Samuel Johnson

Spring is the season of gaiety, and winter of terror; in spring the heart of tranquility dances to the melody of the groves, and the eye of benevolence sparkles at the sight of happiness and plenty: in...

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Samuel Johnson

The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be rekindled by intervals of absence.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss