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.


Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought; our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.     

Samuel Johnson

He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience.     

Samuel Johnson

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.     

Samuel Johnson

Invention is almost the only literary labour which blindness cannot obstruct.     

Samuel Johnson

If the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.     

Samuel Johnson

It is the just doom of laziness and gluttony to be inactive without ease and drowsy without tranquility.     

Samuel Johnson

The gloomy and the resentful are always found among those who have nothing to do or who do nothing.     

Samuel Johnson

Small debts are like small gun shot; they are rattling around us on all sides and one can scarcely escape being wounded. Large debts are like canons, they produce a loud noise, but are of little danger.     

Samuel Johnson

Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but little danger.     

Samuel Johnson

Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.     

Samuel Johnson

Revenge is the act of passion, vengeance is an act of justice.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

All truth is valuable, and satirical criticism may be considered as useful when it rectifies error and improves judgment; he that refines the public taste is a public benefactor.     

Samuel Johnson

Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation of his defense.     

Samuel Johnson

To the strongest and quickest mind, it is far easier to learn than to invent.     

Samuel Johnson

There are charms made only for distant admiration.     

Samuel Johnson

So many objections may be made to everything, that nothing can overcome them but the necessity of doing something.     

Samuel Johnson

Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.     

Samuel Johnson

Let us be quick to repent of injuries while repentance may not be a barren anguish.     

Samuel Johnson

Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.     

Samuel Johnson

Life is surely given us for higher purposes than to gather what our ancestors have wisely thrown away, and to learn what is of no value but because it has been forgotten.     

Samuel Johnson

The reciprocal civility of authors is one of the most risible scenes in the farce of life.     

Samuel Johnson

Those authors who would find many readers, must endeavour to please while they instruct.     

Samuel Johnson

Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free.     

Samuel Johnson

Where there is no difficulty there is no praise.     

Samuel Johnson

The equity of providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.      

Samuel Johnson

As to the rout that is made about people who are ruined by extravagance, it is no matter to the nation that some individuals suffer. When so much general productive exertion is the consequence of luxury, the nation does not care though there are debtors; nay, they would not care though their creditors were there too.      

Samuel Johnson

Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it: every hour takes away part of the things that please us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be pleased.     

Samuel Johnson