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SAMUEL JOHNSON (A/K/A DR. JOHNSON) ("THE GREAT CHAM OF LITERATURE")
English author and lexicographer
(1709 - 1784)
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A small country town is not the place in which one would choose to quarrel with a wife; every human being in such places is a spy.
      - Letters (vol. I, p. 107) [Towns]

The true Genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
      - Life of Cowley [Genius]

Wit is that which has been often thought, but never before was well expressed.
      - Life of Cowley [Wit]

The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.
      - Life of Milton [Government : Royalty]

To be on no Church is dangerous.
      - Life of Milton [Religion]

And, bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
      - London (l. 116) [Hell]

To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear,
  To pour at will the counterfeited tear;
    And, as their patron hints the cold or heat,
      To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
      - London (l. 140) [Courtiers]

Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
  Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
    Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
      Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
      - London (l. 165) [Jesting : Proverbs]

This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd,
  Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd.
      - London (l. 175) [Worth]

But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
  Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold.
      - London (l. 177) [Bribery]

Some fiery fop, with new commission vain,
  Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man;
    Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast,
      Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
      - London (l. 226) [Dueling]

London! the needy villain's general home,
  The common sewer of Paris and of Rome!
    With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
      Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
      - London (l. 93) [London]

From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,--
  Path, motive, guide, original. and end.
      - Motto to The Rambler (no. 7) [God]

A blade of grass is always a blade of grass, whether in one country or another.
      - Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes of Johnson
         (p. 100) [Grass]

"He was a very good hater."
      - Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes of Johnson (p. 38)
        [Hatred]

I like a good hater.
      - Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes of Johnson (p. 89)
        [Hatred]

His virtues walked their narrow round,
  Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
    And sure th' Eternal Master found
      The single talent will employed.
      - On the Death of Mr. Robert Lovett [Virtue]

Wheresoe'er I turn my view,
  All is strange, yet nothing new:
    Endless labor all along,
      Endless labor to be wrong:
        Phrase that Time has flung away;
          Uncouth words in disarray,
            Trick'd in antique ruff and bonnet,
              Ode, and elegy, and sonnet.
      - Parody of the style of Thomas Warton
        [Poetry]

For a man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
      - Piozzi's Anecdotes of Johnson [Eating]

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and, instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
      - Piozzi's Johnsoniana (154) [Traveling]

This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.
      - Prayers and Meditations--Against Inquisitive and Perplexing Thoughts
        [World]

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
      - Preface to Dictionary [Quotations]

The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.
      - Preface to Dictionary [Authorship]

I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
      - Preface to his Dictionary [Words]

Language is the only instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.
      - Preface to his English Dictionary
        [Language]


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