Samuel Johnson Quotes

Famous Quotes of Samuel Johnson


Samuel Johnson was an English writer, poet, and literary critic who lived during the 18th century. He is considered one of the greatest figures in English literature and is best known for his monumental work, A Dictionary of the English Language.

Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. His father was a bookseller, and young Samuel was exposed to books and literature from an early age. He attended Oxford University, but had to leave before completing his degree due to financial difficulties.

Johnson moved to London in 1737 and began his career as a writer and journalist. He contributed to several newspapers and periodicals, and his essays and reviews established him as a leading literary figure of his time.

In 1755, Johnson published his most famous work, A Dictionary of the English Language, which took him nearly a decade to complete. The dictionary was widely praised for its scholarship and became a landmark achievement in the field of lexicography.

Johnson’s other notable works include The Lives of the Poets, a collection of biographies of English poets, and his novel, Rasselas. He also wrote plays, poems, and essays on a wide range of topics.

Johnson died on December 13, 1784, at the age of 75. His contributions to English literature and language continue to be celebrated today, and he is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 18th century.

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

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

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

Language is the dress of thought.

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

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.

The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and 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 and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.

The true art of memory is the art of attention.

Samuel Johnson Quotes
Samuel Johnson Quotes

The future is purchased by the present.

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.

Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

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

Men are wise in proportion not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.

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 one book.

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

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

Samuel Johnson Quotes
Samuel Johnson Quotes

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

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

Clear your mind of can’t.

A man who has not been in a library is like a man who has not seen the ocean.

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

Samuel Johnson Quotes
Samuel Johnson Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.

The business of life is to go forward.

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 one book.

He who would be well served must be his own servant.