Friday, September 18, 2009

Big Sam J is 300 today!

“Samuel Johnson, a man whose talents, acquirements, and virtues, were so extraordinary, that the more his character is considered, the more he will be regarded by the present age, and by posterity, with admiration and reverence.”
(James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, 1791)

Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult. -- Samuel Johnson

Wickedness must be opposed by some, or virtue would be entirely driven out of the world. -- Samuel Johnson: Sermon 17

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. - Dr Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784

To wipe all tears from off all faces is a task too hard for mortals; but to alleviate misfortunes is often within the most limited power: yet the opportunities which every day affords of relieving the most wretched of human beings are overlooked and neglected with equal disregard of policy and goodness. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #107

Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed. -- Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [said by the character Imlac]

Inquiries into the heart are not for man. - Samuel Johnson: Dryden (Lives of the Poets)

The book which is read most, is read by few, compared with those that read it not; and of those few, the greater part peruse it with dispositions that very little favour their own improvement. -- Samuel Johnson: Adventurer #137 (not written about the Bible, but it fits)

The most important events, when they become familiar, are no longer considered with wonder or solicitude; and that which at first filled up our whole attention, and left no place for any other thought, is soon thrust aside into some remote repository of the mind, and lies among other lumber of the memory, overlooked and neglected. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #78

Where no man thinks himself under any obligation to submit to another, and, instead of co-operating in one great scheme, every one hastens through by-paths to private profit, no great change can suddenly be made; nor is superior knowledge of much effect, where every man resolves to use his own eyes and his own judgment, and every one applauds his own dexterity and diligence, in proportion as he becomes rich sooner than his neighbour. -- Samuel Johnson: Introduction to the Political State of Great Britain

It would be undoubtedly best, if we could see and hear everything as it is, that nothing may be too anxiously dreaded, or too ardently pursued. - Samuel Johnson: Idler #50

Domestic discord is not inevitably and fatally necessary; but yet it is not easy to avoid. - Samuel Johnson, Rasselas [the princess Nekayah]

Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things. - Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

You must not mind me, madam; I say strange things, but I mean no harm. -- Dr. Johnson, in Fanny Burney, diary 23 August 1778

Every man has something to do which he neglects; every man has faults to conquer which he delays to combat. -- Samuel Johnson: Idler #43

I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinion and sentiments I find delight. --Dr. Samuel Johnson

Tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language. - Samuel Johnson: Preface to the Dictionary

He that pines with hunger, is in little care how others shall be fed.The poor man is seldom studious to make his grandson rich. - Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

Rousseau, sir, is a very bad man. I would sooner sign a sentence for his transportation, than that of any felon who has gone from the Old Bailey these many years. Yes, I should like to have him work in the plantations.-- Dr. Johnson, in Boswell's _Life of Johnson_, 1791

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