Samuel Johnson Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old samuel johnson quotes, samuel johnson sayings, and samuel johnson proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Never believe extraordinary characters which you hear of people. Depend upon it, they are exaggerated. You do not see one man shoot a great deal higher than another.     

Samuel Johnson

Norway, too, has noble wild prospects; and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

In sovereignty there are no gradations.     

Samuel Johnson

It is a hopeless endeavour to unite the contrarieties of spring and winter; it is unjust to claim the privileges of age, and retain the play-things of childhood.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty.      

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

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

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.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Unintelligible language is a lantern without a light.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Long hast thou borne the burden of the day, / Thy task is ended, venerable Grey! / No more shall art thy dexterous hand require, / To break the sleep of elemental fire: / To rouse the powers that actuate Nature's frame, / The momentaneous shock, th' electric flame; / The flame, which at first, weak pupil of thy lore, / I saw, condemn'd, alas! to see no more.     

Samuel Johnson

The powers of the letters, when they were applied to a new language, must have been vague and unsettled, and therefore different hands would exhibit the same sound by different combinations.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

The inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence.     

Samuel Johnson

Poor Sober! I have often teased him with reproof, and lie has often promised reformation: for no man is so much open to conviction as the idler, but there is none on whom it operates so little.      

Samuel Johnson

Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.      

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Night comes at last, and some hours of restlessness and confusion brings me again to a day of solitude. What shall exclude the black dog from a habitation like this?      

Samuel Johnson

Wherever I turned my view, there was perplexity to be disentangled, and confusion to be regulated.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Age is rarely despised but when it is, contemptible.     

Samuel Johnson

City of God, how broad and far / Outspread thy walls sublime! / The true thy chartered freemen are, / Of every age and clime.     

Samuel Johnson

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

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.      

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson