Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

English Lexicographer, Essayist, Poet, Conversationalist

"When you’re talkin’, you ain’t learnin’ nothin’!"

"Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters."

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

"Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them."

"A fishing pole is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool on the other"

"A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still."

"A am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice."

"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."

"A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden."

"A certain amount of distrust is wholesome, but not so much of others as of ourselves; neither vanity not conceit can exist in the same atmosphere with it."

"A coxcomb is ugly all over with the affectation of the fine gentleman."

"A good wife is like the ivy which beautifies the building to which it clings, twining its tendrils more lovingly as time converts the ancient edifice into a ruin."

"A lexicographer, a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge."

"A life that will bear the inspection of men and of God is the only certificate of true religion."

"A man finds in the productions of nature an inexhaustible stock of material on which he can employ himself, without any temptations to envy or malevolence, and has always a certain prospect of discovering new reasons for adoring the sovereign author of the universe."

"A man has no more right to say an uncivil thing than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another than to knock him down."

"A man guilty of poverty easily believes himself suspected."

"A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him."

"A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it."

"A man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge."

"A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek."

"A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything."

"A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner."

"A man ought to read just as inclination leads him, for what he reads as a task will do him little good."

"A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself."

"A man should be careful never to tell tales of himself to his own disadvantage; people may be amused, band laugh at the time, but they; will be remembered, and brought up against him upon some subsequent occasion."

"A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments."

"A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected."

"A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness."

"A tavern chair is the throne of human felicity."

"A truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can equally embrace great things and small. - I would have a man great in great things, and elegant in little things."

"A man who has never had religion before, no more grows religious when he is sick, than a man who has never learned figures can count when he has need of calculation."

"A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk."

"A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority."

"A man will turn over half a library to make one book."

"A man would rather have a hundred lies told of him than one truth which he does not wish should be known."

"A man, whose great qualities want the ornament of exterior attractions, is like a naked mountain with mines of gold, which will be frequented only till the treasure is exhausted."

"A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair."

"A wise man is never surprised."

"A wicked fellow is the most pious when he takes to it. He'll beat you all at piety."

"A woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

"A vow is a snare for sin."

"A wise man is cured of ambition by ambition itself; his aim is so exalted that riches, office, fortune and favor cannot satisfy him."

"Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult."

"Accustom your children to a strict attention to truth, even in the most minute particulars. If a thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let it pass, but instantly cheek them; you do not know where deviations from truth will end."

"Abuse is often of service."

"A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain."

"Actions are visible, though motives are secret."

"Admiration must be kept up by the novelty that at first produced it; and how much soever is given, there must always be the impression that more remains."

"Admiration begins where acquaintance ceases"