35 Samuel Johnson Quotes on Life


Samuel Johnson was an English writer who published, “A Dictionary of the English Language”, one of the most influential dictionaries and one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship. It took him nine years to complete it. To do this by himself, was a great accomplishment. The following are some of his quotes.


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


“There are charms made only for distant admiration.”


“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.”


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


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


“Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.”


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


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


“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.”


“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.”


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


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


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


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


“What is easy is seldom excellent.”


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


“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.”


“Exercise is labor without weariness.”


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


“Actions are visible, though motives are secret.”


“Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.”


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


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


“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.”


“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.”


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


“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”


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


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


“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. ”


“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.”


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


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


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


“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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