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SAMUEL JOHNSON (A/K/A DR. JOHNSON) ("THE GREAT CHAM OF LITERATURE")
English author and lexicographer
(1709 - 1784)
  CHECK READING LIST (5)    << Prev Page    Displaying page 34 of 37    Next Page >> 

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.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson,
        of R.B. Sheridan [Stupidity]

Wretched, un-idea'd girls.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson [Women]

Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their religious differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson (ch. V)
        [Religion]

A desire of knowledge is the natural feeling of mankind; and every human being whose mind is not debauched, will be willing to give all that he has to get knowledge.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson
         (conversation on Saturday, July 30, 1763)
        [Knowledge]

A very unclubable man.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson (note)
        [Character]

The booksellers are generous liberal-minded men.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson
         (vol. I, p. 1756) [Booksellers]

The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson (vol. II, ch. V)
        [Scotland]

For I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.
      - Boswell's Life of Johnson
         (vol. III, ch. 9) [Eating]

Excise, a hateful tax levied upon commodities.
      - Definition of Excise in his Dictionary
        [Government : Taxation]

Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worst to better.
      - Dictionary of the English Language
         (preface) [Change]

The hand of him here torpid lies,
  That drew th' essential form of grace,
    Here closed in death th' attentive eyes
      That saw the manners in the face.
      - Epitaph for Hogarth [Epitaphs]

Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine,
  Till angels wake thee with a note like thine.
      - Epitaph on Claude Phillips [Epitaphs]

Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven,
  The noble mind's delight and pride,
    To men and angles only given,
      To all the lower world denied.
      - Friendship--An Ode [Friendship]

The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest;
  The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless!
    The last corruption of degenerate man.
      - Irene (act I, sc. 1) [Gold]

Learn that the present hour alone is man's.
      - Irene (act III, sc. 2) [Life]

How guilt once harbour'd in the conscious breast,
  Intimidates the brave, degrades the great.
      - Irene (act IV, sc, 8) [Guilt]

When desp'rate ills demand a speedy cure,
  Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.
      - Irene (act IV, sc. 1) [Cowardice]

When desperate ills demand a speedy cure,
  Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.
      - Irene (act IV, sc. 1, l. 87) [Distrust]

Reflect that life, like every other blessing,
  Derives its value from its use alone.
      - Irene (III, viii) [Life]

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

It (hunting) was the labour of the savages of North America, but the amusement of the gentlemen of England.
      - Johnsoniana [Chase]

The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
      - Johnsoniana (Piozzi's Anecdotes, 58) [Law]

Round numbers are always false.
      - Johnsoniana--Apothegms, Sentiment, etc.,
        From Hawkin's Collective Addition
        [Lying]

His conversation does not show the minute hand; but he strikes the hour very correctly.
      - Johnsoniana--Kearsley (l. 604)
        [Conversation]

Towering in confidence at twenty-one.
      - Letter to Bennet Langton [Youth]


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