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.


Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss.     

Samuel Johnson

Politeness is fictitious benevolence. Depend upon it, the want of it never fails to produce something disagreeable to one or other.     

Samuel Johnson

What ever the motive for the insult, it is always best to overlook it; for folly doesn't deserve resentment, and malice is punished by neglect.     

Samuel Johnson

Much mischief is done in the world with very little interest or design.     

Samuel Johnson

The mischief of flattery is, not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honour may be gained without the toil of merit.     

Samuel Johnson

There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, toil, envy, want, and patron.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

Idleness and timidity often despair without being overcome, and forbear attempts for fear of being defeated; and we may promote the invigoration of faint endeavors, by showing what has already been performed.     

Samuel Johnson

To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.      

Samuel Johnson

In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.      

Samuel Johnson

All theory is against the freedom of the will; all experience for it.     

Samuel Johnson

Whoever envies another confesses his superiority.     

Samuel Johnson

The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.     

Samuel Johnson

It is not true that people are naturally equal for no two people can be together for even a half an hour without one acquiring an evident superiority over the other.     

Samuel Johnson

Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.     

Samuel Johnson

Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.     

Samuel Johnson

An epithet or metaphor drawn from nature ennobles art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from art degrades nature.     

Samuel Johnson

Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.     

Samuel Johnson

All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance.     

Samuel Johnson

The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another.     

Samuel Johnson

That what cannot be repaired is not to be regretted.     

Samuel Johnson

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

Samuel Johnson

All argument is against it; but all belief is for it.     

Samuel Johnson

He that overvalues himself will undervalue others, and he that undervalues others will oppress them.     

Samuel Johnson

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.     

Samuel Johnson

The most useful truths are always universal, and unconnected with accidents and customs.     

Samuel Johnson

The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts.     

Samuel Johnson

The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.     

Samuel Johnson

Is not a patron one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?     

Samuel Johnson

Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is repaid in flattery.     

Samuel Johnson