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So different are the colors of life, as we look forward to the future, or backward to the past; and so different the opinions and sentiments which this contrariety of appearance naturally produces, that the conversation of the old and young ends generally with contempt or pity on either side.


Samuel Johnson

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He who praises everybody, praises nobody.
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There are few minds to which tyranny is not delightful.
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Turn on the prudent ant thy heedful eyes. Observe her labors, sluggard, and be wise.
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What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of t...
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To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
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I hate mankind, for I think of myself as one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.
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No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
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The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.
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The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.
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Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bul...
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He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly beco...
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Small debts are like small gun shot; they are rattling around us on all sides and one can scarcely e...
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Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense. He whom natur...
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We are inclined to believe those whom we don not know because they have never deceived us.
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The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered but a general effect of ...
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I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.
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There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.
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Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing.
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Sir, you have but two topics, yourself and me. I am sick of both.
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The trade of advertising is now so near perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement. B...
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Were it not for imagination a man would be as happy in arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess.
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Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, a...
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No man is much regarded by the rest of the world. He that considers how little he dwells upon the co...
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If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post...
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The mind is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are diverted from the principal subject; the ...
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We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass.
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There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, toil, envy, want, and patron.
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Some people wave their dogmatic thinking until their own reason is entangled.
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Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o clock is a scoundrel.
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Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades t...
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Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.
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Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in ...
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Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the so...
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As to the rout that is made about people who are ruined by extravagance, it is no matter to the nati...
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They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.
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A am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice.
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In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
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Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.
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There are charms made only for distance admiration.
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It is easy to talk of sitting at home contented, when others are seeing or making shows. But not to ...
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Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
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The highest panegyric, therefore, that private virtue can receive, is the praise of servants.
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Few things are impossible to diligence and skill ... Great works are performed, not by strength, but...
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I have thought of a pulley to raise me gradually; but that would give me pain, as it would counterac...
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Controversies merely speculative are of small importance in themselves, however they may have someti...
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When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford
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Easter Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast preserved me by Thy fatherly care through all the ...
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Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.
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Without economy none can be rich, and with it few will be poor.
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A man would rather have a hundred lies told of him than one truth which he does not wish should be k...
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If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state ...
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Fanatical religion driven to a certain point is almost as bad as none at all, but not quite.
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I wish there were some cure, like the lover's leap, for all heads of which some single idea has obt...
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Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find ...
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The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, for we that live to please, must please to live.
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Worth seeing? Yes; but not worth going to see.
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He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
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Every other enjoyment malice may destroy; every other panegyric envy may withhold; but no human powe...
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No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it. There is a remedy in human nature ...
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Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach, and eve...
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Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
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It is the doom of laziness and gluttony to be inactive without ease, and drowsy without tranquility.
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Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, ...
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It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so ...
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All intellectual improvement arises from leisure
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There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but ...
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If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to dilige...
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He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own...
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No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship i...
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I like a good hater.
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Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.
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I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.
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I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much...
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The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over ha...
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Language is the only instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.
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Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purc...
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It is not from reason and prudence that people marry, but from inclination.
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Do not discourage your children from hoarding, if they have a taste to it; whoever lays up his penny...
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Whatever you have spend less.
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Politics are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage i...
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To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavors with his ut...
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It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falseho...
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When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped.
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Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped withou...
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Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by ...
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Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
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It is difficult to conjecture, from the conduct of him whom we see in a low condition, how he would ...
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If in an actor there appears an utter vacancy of meaning, a frigid equality, a stupid languor, a tor...
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I'll come no more behind your scenes, David; for the silk stockings and white bosoms of your actress...
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Do it now. You become successful the moment you start moving toward a worthwhile goal.
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He that applauds him who does not deserve praise, is endeavoring to deceive the public; he that hiss...
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I have heard him assert, that a tavern chair was the throne of human felicity
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Beauty has often overpowered the resolutions of the firm, and the reasonings of the wise, roused the...
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Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those wh...
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That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or...
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We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it posses...
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No weakness of the human mind has more frequently incurred animadversion, than the negligence with w...
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You can never be wise unless you love reading.
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A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who, instead of aimi...
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Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why should you number up my cups of tea?
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We are easily shocked by crimes which appear at once in their full magnitude, but the gradual growth...
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Money and time are the heaviest burdens in life: and among mortals, those who are most unhappy are t...
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He that suffers the slightest breach in his morality can seldom tell what shall enter it, or how wid...
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They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing-master
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In sovereignty there are no gradations
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Admiration begins where acquaintance ceases
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The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking
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The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion o...
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It is generally known, that he who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldo...
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Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself ...
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He that is pushing his predecessors into the gulf of obscurity, cannot but sometimes suspect, that h...
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Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.
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Words are but the signs of ideas.
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The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be rekindled by intervals of absence
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My dear friend, clear your mind of can't.
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Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissio...
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Friendship is a union of spirits, a marriage of hearts, and the bond there of virtue
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Oats. A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.
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Like an image in a dream the world is troubled by love, hatred, and other poisons. So long as the dr...
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A tavern chair is the throne of human felicity.
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AS THEY SAY, here today, Enron tomorrow.
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Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Libert...
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It is thus that mutual cowardice keeps us in peace. Were one half of mankind brave and one cowards, ...
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I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
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All theory is against the freedom of the will, all experience for it.
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What is easy is seldom excellent.
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The triumph of hope over experience
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In all evils which admit a remedy, impatience should be avoided, because it wastes that time and att...
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Disease is a physical process that generally begins that equality which death completes.
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Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796 [Dr. Johnson to a Q...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
One of the amusements of idleness is reading without the fatigue of close attention; and the world t...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped withou...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The appearance and retirement of actors are the great events of the theatrical world; and their firs...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The commercial world is very frequently put into confusion by the bankruptcy of merchants, that assu...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
It was not for me to bandy civilities with my Sovereign
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Long-expected one and twenty, / Lingering year at length is flown.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
A man will turn over half a library to make one book
SAMUEL JOHNSON
There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern... No,...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who ...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by ...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present
SAMUEL JOHNSON
She no more thought of the play out of which her part was taken, than a shoemaker thinks of the skin...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
There is scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted hi...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
[C]ourage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no ...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give. For we that live to please, must please to live.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
There is, indeed, nothing that so much seduces reason from vigilance, as the thought of passing life...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with hims...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
My dear friend, clear your mind of cant.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
If I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many thing...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Much may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
It is the only sensual pleasure without vice.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Knowledge always demands increase; it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external age...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Knowledge is more than equivalent to force.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upo...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, t...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
To act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite human beings, Human benevolence is mingled w...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way, and that...
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything.
SAMUEL JOHNSON