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30 Famous Quotes from Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an influential English writer, poet, essayist, and lexicographer. He earned recognition as one of the greatest figures in 18th-century life and letters.

One of Samuel Johnson’s most famous works is the “Dictionary of the English Language,” which he published in 1755.

Beyond the dictionary, Johnson made significant contributions to literature through his essays, poems, and critical writings. His essay series “The Rambler” and “The Idler” are notable for their insights into various aspects of life and society.

In this article, we have curated 30 famous quotes from Samuel Johnson that offer a glimpse into his brilliance and timeless wisdom.

Samuel Johnson Quotes

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” – Samuel Johnson


“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life or better to endure it.” – Samuel Johnson

“The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.” – Samuel Johnson

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” – Samuel Johnson

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” – Samuel Johnson


“Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, sickness, of captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable.” – Samuel Johnson

“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” – Samuel Johnson

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” – Samuel Johnson

Courage is the greatest of all virtues because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.” – Samuel Johnson

“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.” – Samuel Johnson


“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” – Samuel Johnson

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson

“The future is purchased by the present.” – Samuel Johnson

“It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.” – Samuel Johnson

“The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.” – Samuel Johnson


“Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.” – Samuel Johnson

“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” – Samuel Johnson

“Without frugality, none can be rich, and with it, very few would be poor.” – Samuel Johnson

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” – Samuel Johnson

“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” – Samuel Johnson

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” – Samuel Johnson


“A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.” – Samuel Johnson

“Clear your mind of can’t.” – Samuel Johnson

“He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.” – Samuel Johnson

“The true art of memory is the art of attention.” – Samuel Johnson

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson


Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.” – Samuel Johnson

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” – Samuel Johnson

Take a moment to reflect on these 30 famous quotes from Samuel Johnson and let his words inspire you to live a life of wisdom, integrity, and compassion.

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