Quotes by author
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Bill Jack

Everyone is legalistic about something. I'm legalistic about grace. - Bill Jack

David Jackman

When you're at the end of the tether, remember that God is at the other end. - Seen outside a church, by David Jackman, in The Communicators Commentary, Ruth1.

Most people's minds are like concrete- thoroughly mixed and permanently set. - Seen outside a Manchester church, by David Jackman, in The Communicators Commentary, Ruth 2.

When God ripens apples, he isn't in a hurry and doesn't make a noise. -- D Jackman

Faithful service in a lowly place is true spiritual greatness. D Jackman  

Andrew Jackson (1767 &endash; 1845)

It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. -- Andrew Jackson

That book [Bible], sir, is the rock on which our republic rests. - attr to Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)In "The New Webster's Dictionary of Quotations and Famous Phrases,"by Donald Bolander, 1987.

Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson

Find me the men on earth who care
Enough for faith or creed today
To seek the barren wilderness
For simple liberty to pray.
Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson,"The Pilgrim Forefathers" (1880)

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863)

I like liquor - its taste and its effects - and that is just the reason why I never drink it.
"Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863) In "The Harper Book of Quotations," by Robert I. Fitzhenry, 1993.

Duty is ours; consequences are God's. GENERAL STONEWALL JACKSON

Captain Smith:
General, how is it that you can keep so serene, stay so utterly insensible with the storm, the shells and bullets running about your head?
General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson: Captain Smith, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That's the way all men should live, then all men would be equally brave.(Dialogue from the film _Gods and Generals_ [2003], screenplay by Ronald F. Maxwell)

Jesse Jackson (1941- )

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. Jesse Jackson.

Your children need your presence more than your presents.--Jesse Jackson (1941- )

Lawrence James

I am too busy with my cause to-- hate--too absorbed in something bigger than myself. I have no time to quarrel, no time for regrets and no man can force me to stoop low enough to hate him. Lawrence James

P. D. James (1920-____)

It was not . . . that she was unaware of the frayed and ragged edges of life. She would merely iron them out with a firm hand and neatly hem them down. P. D. James (1920-____)

William James  (1842 &endash; 1910)

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.... William James, (1842-1910)

There are people for whom evil means only a mal-adjustment with things, a wrong correspondence of one's life with the environment. Such evil as this is curable, at least in principle, upon the natural plane… . But there are others for whom evil is no mere relation of the subject to particular outer things, but something more radical and general, a wrongness or vice in his essential nature, which no alteration of the environment, or any superficial rearrangement of the inner self, can cure, and which requires a supernatural remedy. --William James, _The Varieties of Religious Experience_

There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers. --- William James

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. - William James

Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. Not through mere perversity do men run after it. William James

If merely 'feeling good' could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.-- William James

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. William James

Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is. ~ William James

The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have been flown for religious ideals. -William James

James Janeway

To argue from mercy to sin is the devil's logic.JAMES JANEWAY

Edna Jaques

Not for the mighty world. O Lord, tonight,
Nations and kingdoms in their fearful might--
Let me be glad the kettle gently sings,
Let me be grateful for little things.
Edna Jaques

Cornelious C. Janzen

The Masses are Asses - Cornelious C. Janzen

John Jay (1745 &endash; 1829)

The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy. -- John Jay (1745 &endash; 1829)

Julian Jaynes

Abstract words are ancient coins whose concrete images in the give and take of talk have worn away with use. -Julian Jaynes

Charles E. Jefferson (1860-1937)

Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.--Charles E. Jefferson (1860-1937)

Thomas Jefferson (1743 &endash; 1826)

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent. Thomas Jefferson

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. &emdash;Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

It is unfortunate, that the efforts of mankind to recover the freedom of which they have been so long deprived, will be accompanied with violence, with errors, and even with crimes. But while we weep over the means, we must pray for the end. --Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey Presents the Living Thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, 1940

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without a rebellion. - Thomas Jefferson

......and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. Jefferson, Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. draft.Section I

What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate. And I do believe that if the Almighty has not decreed that man shall never be free (and it is blasphemy to believe it), that the secret will be found to be in the making himself the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical. --Thomas Jefferson letter to Joseph C. Cabell (1816) ME 14:421

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.--- Thomas Jefferson

...were we to love none who had imperfections, this would be a desert for our love. All we can do is to make the best of our friends; love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way of what is bad: but no more think of rejecting them for it than of throwing away a piece of music for a flat passage or two. -- Thomas Jefferson

Gaming corrupts our disposition and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind. ~ Thomas Jefferson

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them: inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehood and errors. --Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. -- Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

The loss of the battle of Waterloo was the salvation of France. Thomas Jefferson

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. Thomas Jefferson

It is not by the consolidation, or concentration, of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected.
Thomas Jefferson

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. Thomas Jefferson

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies. Thomas Jefferson

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr (August 19, 1785)

A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society. --Thomas Jefferson

Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate. Thomas Jefferson

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook.--THOMAS JEFFERSON

The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good. -- Thomas Jefferson

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
JEFFERSON, THOMAS (1743-1826)

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in afeather bed. Thomas Jefferson

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.Thomas Jefferson

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. Thomas Jefferson

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.-- Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to A. Stuart (1791)

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.-Thomas Jefferson. 1743-1826. Notes on Virginia. Query xviii. Manners.

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson in a letter in 1819 (his letter to Nathaniel Macon, in HL Mencken's Dictionary of Quotations)

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers, 1:545

There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world. -- Thomas Jefferson

This should be a man's attitude: 'Few things will disturb him at all; nothing will disturb him much. '-- Thomas Jefferson

The concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.-- Thomas Jefferson

Arthur Jeffery

...for the theory of the world which it enshrines is still fundamental to the thinking of great masses of Muslim people to the present day. The troubles in India which lead up to the great Patna conspiracy trials of 1864 were due to the fact that Syed Ahmad of Oudh had preached against the Sikh cities of the Panjab a Jihad which later turned to one against all non-Muslim groups. The bloody episode of the Padri rebellion in Malaysia was due to the preaching of Jihad against the pagan Battak tribes. The Fula wars in the Hausa country [Western Sudan] in the early nineteenth century, which lead to Osman Dan Fodio's setting up the ephemeral sultanate of Sokoto, began as a jihad preached against the pagan king of Gobir. The Moplah rebellion in South India in 1921, with its massacres, forcible conversions, desecration of temples, and outrages on the hapless Hindu villagers, could be heard openly proclaimed as a Jihad in the streets of Madras.- Jeffery, Arthur. "The Political Importance of Islam," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 1, 1942, p. 388.

It is of course, easy to raise the objection that a Jihad in the old sense is impossible of realization in the modern world, for Islam is far too badly divided for anything like a general Jihad to be contemplated and far too weak in technical equipment for a Jihad to be successful even if started. This does not dispose of the fact, however, that the earlier conception of Jihad has left a deposit in Muslim thinking that is still to be reckoned with in the political relations of the Western world with Islam.- Jeffery, A. "The Political Importance of Islam," 1942, pp. 388-389.

Terence Jeffrey

For decades, liberal judges have advanced their agenda by arbitrarily declaring "rights" that defy the Western legal tradition, articulated so well by Cicero, Aquinas and Martin Luther King Jr., that just laws comport with God's laws. They have declared that peddling pornography, killing unborn babies and even same-sex marriage are "rights."
These are not rights, they are wrongs. For judges to enshrine them permanently in our law, they must first unthrone God -- and put themselves in His place.- Terence Jeffrey, Just barely under God,June 16, 2004, Townhall.com

Roy Jenkins.

There is no greater recipe for disaster than a persistent refusal to face unwelcome facts. Roy Jenkins.

William Jenkyn

As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst things. -William Jenkyn

Praise shall conclude that work which prayer began.-- William Jenkyn

Edward Jenner (1749-1823)

The joy I felt as the prospect before me of being the instrument destined to take away from the world one of its greatest calamities [smallpox] was so excessive that I found myself in a kind of reverie. .Edward Jenner (1749-1823) In "Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations," ed. Jason Shulman & Isaac Asimov, 1988.

I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world -- when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox.- Edward Jenner (1749-1823)

The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases. - Edward Jenner

Peter Jensen

The church is more like a family than a firm ... and, within the family, men are the spiritual guides ... this is not misogyny. It puts me in touch with the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived, and the vast majority of Christians who now live.-The Rev Dr Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

David Jeremiah

Kids today learn a lot about getting to the moon, but very little about getting to heaven. --David Jeremiah

Jerome (347-420)

It is ours to offer what we can, His to supply what we cannot. -- . Jerome

A man who is well-grounded in the testimonies of the Scripture is the bulwark of the Church. --. Jerome

Jerome K. Jerome (1859 &endash; 1927)

But there, everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses. - Jerome K. Jerome (1859 &endash; 1927)

We shall never be content until man makes his own weather and keeps it to himself. - Jerome K. Jerome (1859 &endash; 1927)

Time is but the shadow of the world upon the background of Eternity.- Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) : "Three Men in a Boat," ch. 15, 1889.

Douglas Jerrold (1803 &endash; 1857)

If I were a grave-digger, or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. - Douglas Jerrold (1803 &endash; 1857)

Paul K. Jewett

The axioms of reason are non-demonstrable assumptions. Why should faith not be granted the same privilege? The denial of the truths of faith is, in the last analysis, no less a faith than faith itself, for it rests on personal assumptions which are apart from scientific necessity. In other words, as the truth of reason carries its own evidence, so also with faith. To the mind to whom the axioms of reason are not self-evident, they cannot be proven. So also in the case of faith: for the mind that is not enlightened by faith, the evidence of faith is ridiculous. But for the man whose eyes have been enlightened by the Spirit, faith has its proper evidence, though different from that of reason. The only sufficient ground of faith is the authority of God Himself as he addresses me in His Word. Paul K. Jewett, Emil Brunner's Concept of Revelation

Jake Johansen

A lady came up to me on the street and pointed at my suede jacket. "You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?" she sneered. I replied in a psychotic tone, "I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too."--Jake Johansen

John of the Cross (1542-1591)

My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you. -- John of the Cross (1542-1591)

O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.... John of the Cross (1542-1591)

John XXIII (1881 &endash; 1963)

Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age. - Pope John XXIII

John Paul II (1920-2005)

It is not possible to speak of the right to choose when a clear moral evil is involved, when what is at stake is the commandment Do not kill! John Paul II (1920-)

It is important to speak of suffering and death in a way that dispels fear. Indeed, dying is a part of life. - Pope John Paul II in Austria: Message to the sick and suffering June 1998

I confirm that euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person.- Evangelium Vitae- Gospel of Life- Pope John Paul II - 1995

While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in it's final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of " the strong" against the weak who have no choice but to submit. - Evangelium Vitae-Gospel of Life Pope John Paul II- 199

The right to profess the truth must always be upheld, but not in a way that involves contempt for those who may think differently. ~John Paul II

Did you ever read the Koran? I recommend it. What the Koran teaches people is aggression; and what we [Christians] teach our people is peace. . . . Christianity aspires to peace and love. Islam is a religion that attacks.If you start teaching aggression to the whole community, you end up pandering to the negative elements in everyone. You know what that leads to: Such people will assault us. --Pope John Paul II [Karol Wojtyla] (1920- ) (In Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi's _His Holiness: John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time_ [1996])

Murder is murder is murder. - John Paul II to the IRA , Ireland, 1979, quoted in Brenda Maddox, Maggie the First Lady, p134

Power is responsibility: it is service, not privilege. -- John Paul II [Karol Wojtyla] (1920- ) _An Invitation to Joy_ [1999]

The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn.
John Paul II, London, 9 June 1991

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. John Paul II, 1986

Boris Johnson

European integration was a noble idea, born of the desire that France and Germany should not go to war again. - Boris Johnson, Lend Me Your Ears p296

Gerald W. Johnson

Nothing changes more consistently than the past;...the past that influencesour lives is not what actually happened but what we believe happened. - Gerald W. Johnson

No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility. -- Gerald W. Johnson

James Weldon Johnson

The final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and all they have produced. The world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art. James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) "The Book of Negro Poetry," preface, 1931

Larry C. Johnson

Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism. None of these beliefs are based in fact. ... While terrorism is not vanquished, in a world where thousands of nuclear warheads are still aimed across the continents, terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way. Larry C. Johnson, "The Declining Terrorist Threat," New York Times, July 10, 2001. Johnson, a former CIA officer, was deputy director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Counterterrorism from 1989 to 1993.

Lyndon B. Johnson.

Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his wife. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson.

I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her way. And second, let her have it.
Lyndon Johnson

Paul Johnson

In material and moral terms, assimilation was always the best option for indigenous peoples confronted with the fact of white dominance. That is the conclusion reached by the historian who studies the fate not only of the American Indians but of the aborigines in Australia and the Maoris in New Zealand. To be preserved in amber as tribal societies with special 'rights' and 'claims' is merely a formula for continuing friction, extravagant expectations, and new forms of exploitation by white radical intellectuals --Paul Johnson

The most socially subversive institution of our time is the one-parent family. Paul Johnson

The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false. 
Paul Johnson The Quotable Paul Johnson: A Topical Compilation of His Wit, Wisdom and Satire, edited by George J. Marlin, et al (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994), p. 138

The urge to distribute wealth equally, and still more the belief that it can be brought about by political action, is the most dangerous of all popular emotions. It is the legitimation of envy, of all the deadly sins the one which a stable society based on consensus should fear the most. The monster state is a source of many evils; but it is, above all, an engine of envy.-- Paul Johnson

The urge to distribute wealth equally, and still more the belief that it can be brought about by political action, is the most dangerous of all popular emotions. It is the legitimation of envy, of all the deadly sins the one which a stable society based on consensus should fear the most. The monster state is a source of many evils; but it is, above all, an engine of envy. -- Paul Johnson

Samuel Johnson

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

Nothing confers so much ability to resist the temptations that perpetually surround us, as an habitual consideration of the shortness of life, and the uncertainty of those pleasures that solicit our pursuit; and this consideration can be inculcated only by affliction. 'O Death! how bitter is the remembrance of thee, to a man that lives at ease in his possessions!' If our present state were one continued succession of delights, or one uniform flow of calmness and tranquility, we should never willingly think upon its end; death would then surely surprise us as 'a thief in the night;' and our task of duty would remain unfinished, till 'the night came when no man can work.'- Samuel Johnson: Adventurer #120

Parents are by no means exempt from the intoxication of dominion. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #148

True, (answered the Earl, with a smile) but he would have been a DANCING bear. ~Boswell, Life of Johnson

 Almighty and most merciful Father, I am now about to commemorate once more in Thy presence, the redemption of the world by our Lord and Savior Thy Son Jesus Christ. Grant, O most merciful God, that the benefit of His sufferings may be extended to me. Grant me faith, grant me repentance. Illuminate me with Thy Holy Spirit. Enable me to form good purposes, and to bring these purposes to good effect. Let me so dispose my time, that I may discharge the duties to which Thou shalt vouchsafe to call me, and let that degree of health, to which Thy mercy has restored me, be employed to Thy Glory. O God, invigorate my understanding, compose my perturbations, recall my wanderings, and calm my thoughts, that having lived while Thou shalt grant me life, to do good and to praise Thee, I may when Thy call shall summon me to another state, receive mercy from Thee, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. ... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Easter, 1771

He who has provoked the lash of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it. --Boswell. The Life of Johnson, for October 16, 1769

Keep always in your mind, that, with due submission to Providence, a man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself. -- Samuel Johnson: Letter to Joseph Baretti

No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned . . . A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company. Samuel Johnson

Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea. Samuel Johnson

To-morrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale.-- Samuel Johnson, letter to Hester Thrale, May 24 1773

Life is not long, and too much of it should not be spent in idle deliberation how it shall be spent. -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Very slender differences will sometimes part those whom long reciprocation of civility or beneficence has united. -- Samuel Johnson: Idler #23

Though Mr. Johnson was commonly affected even to agony at the thoughts of a friend's dying, he troubled himself very little with the complaints they might make to him of ill health. "Dear Doctor (said he one day to a common acquaintance, who lamented the tender state of his inside), do not be like the spider, man; and spin conversation thus incessantly out thy own bowels." -- Hester Thrale Piozzi: Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson

You can never be wise unless you love reading ~ Samuel Johnson to Francis Barber quoted in Robert de Maria Jr, Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (1997)

 Sir, a man will not, once in a hundred instances, leave his wife and go to a harlot, if his wife has not been negligent of pleasing. -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Boswell: "Pray, Sir, do you not suppose that there are fifty women in the world, with any one of whom a man may be as happy, as with any one woman in particular?" Johnson: "Ay, Sir, fifty thousand." -- James Boswell: Life of Johnson

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections their author. -- Samuel Johnson: Idler #4

It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see publick dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. But he sounds no alarm, when there is no enemy; he never terrifies his ncountrymen till he is terrified himself. The patriotism, therefore, may be justly doubted of him, who professes to be disturbed by incredibilities... -- Samuel Johnson: The Patriot

I do not wonder that, where the monastick life is permitted, every order finds votaries, and every monastery inhabitants. Men will submit to any rule, by which they may be exempted from the tyranny of caprice and of chance. They are glad to supply by external authority their own want of constancy and resolution, and court the government of others, when long experience has convinced them of their own inability to govern themselves. -- Samuel Johnson: Letter to Baretti (June 10, 1761)

That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own self-esteem... Samuel Johnson

Combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practiced perfidy grow faithless to each other. --Samuel Johnson

Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing; when we have made it the next wish is to change again... Samuel Johnson

Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life's a short summer, man a flower;
He dies -- alas! how soon he dies!
Samuel Johnson from "Winter, An Ode",

To hear complaints is wearisome to the wretched and the happy alike.... Samuel Johnson

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good." -- Samuel Johnson: Taxation No Tyranny

When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. -- Samuel Johnson: Letter to Hester Thrale (July 14, 1770)

Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it. Every hour takes away part of the things that please us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be pleased.... Samuel Johnson

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.-- Samuel Johnson

All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own, and if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it. -- Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands

Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.-- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Truth finds an easy entrance into the mind when she is introduced by desire, and attended by pleasure; but when she intrudes uncalled, and brings only fear and sorrow in her train, the passes of the intellect are barred against her by prejudice and passion; if she sometimes forces her way by the batteries of argument, she seldom long keeps possession of her conquests, but is ejected by some favoured enemy, or at best obtains only a nominal sovereignty, without influence and without authority. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #165

Almighty and most merciful Father, I again appear in Thy presence the wretched misspender of another year which Thy mercy has allowed me. O Lord let me not sink into total depravity, look down upon me, and rescue me at last from the captivity of sin. Impart to me good resolutions, and give me strength and perseverance to perform them. Take not from me Thy Holy Spirit, but grant that I may redeem the time lost, and that by temperance and diligence, by sincere repentance and faithful obedience I may finally attain everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. ... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Faults and defects every work of man must have. -- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

Wit, you know, is the unexpected copulation of ideas...-- Samuel Johnson, Rambler #194

Nothing has more retarded the advancement of learning than the disposition of vulgar minds to ridicule and vilify what they cannot comprehend.
Samuel Johnson: Rambler #117

Calumnities are best answered with silence. --Samuel Johnson

It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind upon the present scene, to produce confidence and elation, and to make him who enjoys affluence and honors forget the hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise than by affliction awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught to know how little all our acquisitions can conduce to safety or quiet, and how justly we may inscribe to the superintendence of a higher power those blessings which in the wantonness of success we considered as the attainments of our policy and courage.... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

I am afraid, ... that health begins, after seventy, and often long before, to have a meaning different from that which it had at thirty. But it is culpable to murmur at the established order of the creation, as it is vain to oppose it. He that lives, must grow old; and he that would rather grow old than die, has God to thank for the infirmities of old age. -- Samuel Johnson, letter to James Boswell (Dec 7, 1782

So different are the colours 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 producs, that the conversation of the old and young ends generally with contempt or pity on either side. -- Samuel Johnson

I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.-- Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson 15 April 1778

Painting consumes labour not disproportionate to its effect; but a fellow will hack half a year at a block of marble to make something in stone that hardly resembles a man. The value of statuary is owing to its difficulty. You would not value the finest head cut upon a carrot. -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Surely life, if it be not long, is tedious, since we are forced to call in the assistance of so many trifles to rid us of our time, of that time which never can return. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

No, Sir; to act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
Boswell: Life of Johnson

You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury, than by giving it; for by spending it in luxury, you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle. I own, indeed, there may be more virtue in giving it immediately in charity, than in spending it in luxury; though there may be a pride in that too. -- Boswell: Life of Johnson

The truth is, that luxury produces much good. Take the luxury of building in London. Does it not produce real advantage in the conveniency and elegance of accommodation, and this all from the exertion of industry? People will tell you, with a melancholy face, how many builders are in goal, not for building; for rents are not fallen. -- A man gives half a guinea for a dish of green peas. How much gardening does this occasion? how many labourers must the competition to have such things early in the market, keep in employment? You will hear it said, very gravely, 'Why was not the half-guinea, thus spent in luxury, given to the poor? To how many might it have afforded a good meal?' Alas! has it not gone to the industrious poor, whom it is better to support than the idle poor? You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labour, than when you give money merely in charity. -- Boswell: Life of Johnson

The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected. --Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Sir, there is one Mrs. MacAulay in this town, a great republican. One day when I was at her house, I put on a very grave countenance, and said to her, 'Madam, I am now become a convert to your way of thinking. I am convinced that all mankind are upon an equal footing; and to give you an unquestionable proof, Madam, that I am in earnest, here is a very sensible, civil, well-behaved fellow-citizen, your footman; I desire that he may be allowed to sit down and dine with us.' I thus, Sir, showed her the absurdity of the levelling doctrine. She has never liked me since. Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves. They would all have some people under them; why not then have some people above them? Boswell: Life of Johnson

You hunt in the morning (says he), and crowd to the public rooms at night, and call it diversion; when your heart knows it is perishing with poverty of pleasures, and your wits get blunted for want of some other mind to sharpen them upon. There is in this world no real delight (excepting those of sensuality),but exchange of ideas in conversation; and whoever has once experienced the full flow of London talk, when he retires to country friendships and rural sports, must either be contented to turn baby again and play with the rattle, or he will pine away like a great fish in a little pond, and die for want of his usual food. --Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other. --Boswell: Life of Johnson

A man who tells me my play is very bad, is less my enemy than he who lets it die in silence. A man, whose business it is to be talked of, is much helped by being attacked. - Samuel Johnson, Quoted in Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

It is advantageous to an authour, that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck only at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends.. - Samuel Johnson, Quoted in Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

Nothing ... will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. --Samuel Johnson Rasselas

You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.-- Boswell: Life of Johnson

When the people criticised and answered his pamphlets, papers, &c. Why now, these fellows are only advertising my book (he would say); it is surely better a man should be abused than forgotten. --Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

He is gone, and we are going.-- Samuel Johnson, letter to Mrs Thrale on the death of her son, Harry: 25 March 1776.

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Since business and gaiety are always drawing our attention away from a future state, some admonition is frequently necessary to recall it to our minds, and what can more properly renew the impression than the examples of mortality which every day supplies? The great incentive to virtue is the reflection that we must die; it will, therefore, be useful to accustom ourselves, whenever we see a funeral, to consider how soon we may be added to the number of those whose probation is past, and whose happiness or misery shall endure forever. Samuel Johnson: Rambler #78

A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected. --Samuel Johnson, Rasselas

Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking. --Boswell: Life of Johnson

The desires of man increase with his acquisitions; every step which he advances brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with every thing that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites. - Samuel Johnson: Idler #30

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the non existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus." --James Boswell: Life of Samuel Johnson

Boswell: "I think, Sir, you once said to me, that not to drink wine was a great deduction from life." Johnson: "It is a diminution of pleasure, to be sure; but I do not say a diminution of happiness. There is more happiness in being rational."
James Boswell: Life of Samuel Johnson

I called on Dr. Johnson one morning, when Mrs. Williams, the blind lady, was conversing with him. She was telling him where she had dined the day before. "There were several gentlemen there," said she, "and when some of them came to the tea-table, I found that there had been a good deal of hard drinking." She closed this observation with a common and trite moral reflection; which, indeed, is very ill-founded, and does great injustice to animals -- "I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves." "I wonder, Madam," replied the Doctor, "that you have not penetration to see the strong inducement to this excess; for he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
Anecdotes of the Revd. Percival Stockdale; collected in "Johnsonian Miscellanies," edited by G.B. Hill.

We discussed the question whether drinking improved conversation and benevolence. Sir Joshua maintained it did. Johnson: "No, Sir: before dinner men meet with great inequality of understanding; and those who are conscious of their inferiority, have the modesty not to talk. When they have drunk wine, every man feels himself happy, and loses that modesty, and grows impudent and vociferous: but he is not improved; he is only not sensible of his defects. --"Boswell: Life of Johnson

Talking of drinking wine, he said, "I did not leave off wine because I could not bear it; I have drunk three bottles of port without being the worse for it. University College has witnessed this." Boswell: "Why then, Sir, did you leave it off?" Johnson: "Why, Sir, because it is so much better for a man to be sure that he is never intoxicated, never to lose the power over himself."
Boswell: Life of Johnson

Boswell: "You must allow me, Sir, at least that it produces truth; in vino veritas, you know, Sir--" "That (replied Mr. Johnson) would be useless to a man who knew he was not a liar when he was sober." --Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.--Samuel Johnson

Wine makes a man better pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to 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 (1709-1784)

Exercise!! I never heard that he used any: he might, for aught I know, walk to the alehouse; but I believe he was always carried home again.
Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

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

Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Let me smile with the wise and feed with the rich. Dr. Johnson

Every man has a right to utter what he thinks as truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.--Samuel Johnson

If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.-- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

No, Sir; to act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive. --Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Sir, I am a friend to subordination, as most conducive to the happiness of society. There is a reciprocal pleasure in governing and being governed. - Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

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

That man is never happy for the present is so true, that all his relief from unhappiness is only forgetting himself for a little while. Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment. - Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

[Entering the estate of Lord Scarsdale, Boswell describes a long list of assets indicating great wealth.] Boswell: "One should think that the proprietor of all this must be happy." Johnson: "Nay, Sir, all this excludes but one evil -- poverty."
Boswell: Life of Johnson

Of a Jamaica gentleman, then lately dead -- "He will not, whither he is now gone (said Johnson), find much difference, I believe, either in the climate or the company." Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

Where there is no hope, there can be no endeavour. --SamuelJohnson

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting. Samuel Johnson

The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion of almost every wish is found a disappointment. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #71

Few men have left behind such purity of character or such monuments of laborious piety. He has provided instruction for all ages, from those who are lisping their first lessons, to the enlightened readers of Malbranche and Locke; he has left neither corporeal nor spiritual nature unexamined; he has taught the art of reasoning, and the science of the stars.
Samuel Johnson: On Isaac Watts (Lives of the Poets)

Be not too hasty to trust, or to admire, the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.--Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the character Imlac]

[Dr. Johnson to a Quaker:] Oh, let us not be found, when our Master calls us, ripping the lace off our waistcoats, but the spirit of contention from our souls and tongues. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not. Samuel Johnson

A student may easily exhaust his life in comparing divines and moralists without any practical regard to morals and religion; he may be learning not to live but to reason... while the chief use of his volumes is unthought of, his mind is unaffected, and his life is unreformed. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

In all countries there has been fornication, as in all countries there has been theft; but there may be more or less of the one, as well as the other, in proportion to the force of law. All men will naturally commit fornication, as all men will naturally steal. And, Sir, it is very absurd to argue, as has been often done, that prostitutes are necessary to prevent the violent effects of appetite from violating the decent order of life; nay, should be permitted, in order to preserve the chastity of our wives and daughters. Depend upon it, Sir, severe laws, steadily enforced, would be sufficient against those evils, and would promote marriage.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

He [Johnson] would not allow his servant to say he was not at home when he really was. "A servant's strict regard for the truth must be weakened by such a practice. A philosopher may know that it is merely a form of denial; but few servants are such nice distinguishers. If I accustom a servant to tell a lie for -me-, have I not reason to apprehend that hewill tell many lies for -himself-. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Men who cannot deceive others are very often successful at deceiving themselves. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #31

The main of life is ... composed of small incidents and petty occurrences: of wishes for objects not remote, and grief for disappointments of no fatal consequence; of insect vexations, which sting us and fly away; impertinecies, which buzz a while about us, and are heard no more; of meteorous pleasures, which dance before us and are dissipated; of compliments, which glide off the soul like other music, and are forgotten by him that gave, and him that received them.
Samuel Johnson: Rambler #68

I am not so much inclined to wonder that marriage is sometimes unhappy, as that it appears so little loaded with calamity; and cannot but conclude that society has something in itself eminently agreeable to human nature, when I find its pleasures so great that even the ill choice of a companion can hardly overbalance them. Samuel Johnson (given to a fictional correspondent) in Rambler #45 (August 21, 1750)

I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor, upon a due consideration of characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter. Boswell: Life of Johnson

The black dog I hope always to resist, and in time to drive, though I am deprived of almost all those that used to help meWhen I rise my breakfast is solitary, the black dog waits to share it, from breakfast to dinner he continues barking, except that Dr Brocklesby for a little keeps him at a distanceNight comes at last, and some hours of restlessness and confusion bring me again to a day of solitude. What shall exclude the black dog from a habitation like this? Samuel Johnson, Letter to Mrs Thrale, 28 June 1783, in R. W. Chapman (ed.) Letters of Samuel Johnson (1952) vol. 3 (on his attacks of melancholia; more recently associated with Winston Churchill, who used the phrase black dog when alluding to his own periodic bouts of depression)

To live without feeling or exciting sympathy, to be fortunate without adding to the felicity of others, or afflicted without tasting the balm of pity, is a state more gloomy than solitude; it is not retreat, but exclusion from mankind. Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [from the character Princess Nekayah]

Misery is caused for the most part, not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which canker enjoyment, and undermine security. The visit of an invader is necessarily rare, but domestic animosities allow no cessation.
Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

I do not wonder that, where the monastic life is permitted, every order finds votaries, and every monastery inhabitants. Men will submit to any rule, by which they may be exempted from the tyranny of caprice and of chance. They are glad to supply by external authority their own want of constancy and resolution, and court the government of others, when long experience has convinced them of their own inability to govern themselves. Samuel Johnson

If convents should be allowed at all, they should only be retreats for persons unable to serve the publick, or who have served it. It is our first duty to serve society; and after we have done that, we may attend wholly to the salvation of our own souls. A youthful passion for abstracted devotion should not be encouraged. ---- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Actions are visible, though motives are secret.- Samuel Johnson: Lives of the Poets (Cowley)

No, Sir; to act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. He recounts the decency and regularity of former times, and celebrates the discipline and sobriety of the age in which his youth was passed; a happy age which is now no more to be expected, since confusion has broken in upon the world, and thrown down all the boundaries of civility and reverence.
Samuel Johnson: Rambler #50

When I find that so much of my life has stolen unprofitably away, and that I can descry by retrospection scarcely a few single days properly and vigorously employed, why do I yet try to resolve again? I try, because reformation is necessary and despair is criminal. I try, in humble hope of the help of God. -- Samuel Johnson, Prayers and Meditations

Resolve, and keep your resolution; choose, and pursue your choice. If you spend this day in study, you will find yourself still more able to study to-morrow; not that you are to expect that you shall all at once obtain a complete victory. Depravity is not very easily overcome. Resolution will sometimes relax, and diligence will sometimes be interrupted; but let no accidental surprise or deviation, whether short or long, dispose you to despondency. Boswell: Life of Johnson

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance; yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe. Samuel Johnson: Rasselas

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Samuel Johnson: Rasselas

All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance; it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals. If a man was to compare the single stroke of the pickaxe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and the last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are leveled and oceans bounded by the slender force of human beings.
Samuel Johnson: Rambler #43

I have Socrates on my side. It was his labour to turn philosophy from the study of nature to speculations upon life, but the innovators whom I oppose areturning off attention from life to nature. They seem to think that we are placed here to watch the growth of plants, or the motions of the stars. Socrates was rather of opinion that what we had to learn was, how to do good and avoid evil. - Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes? Johnson: Taxation No Tyranny

The inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence. Samuel Johnson: Dryden (Lives of the Poets)

I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving: having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming plans of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short. O GOD, grant me to resolve aright, and to keep my resolutions, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. Samuel Johnson

As he that lives longest lives but a little while, every man may be certain that he has no time to waste. The duties of life are commensurate to its duration, and every day brings its task, which if neglected, is doubled on the morrow. But he that has already trifled away those months and years, in which he should have laboured, must remember that he has now only a part of that of which the whole is little; and that since the few moments remaining are to be considered as the last trust of heaven, not one is to be lost. -- Samuel Johnson, Rambler #71

Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all. Boswell: Life of Johnson

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language, 1775

Perhaps the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some useful truth in few words. We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles are not known, but because, for a time, they are not remembered; and he may therefore be justly numbered among the benefactors of mankind, who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind. ---Samuel Johnson (Rambler #175)

He that has once concluded it lawful to resist power, when it wants merit, will soon find a want of merit, to justify his resistance to power.- Samuel Johnson, Sermon 23

He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many foulder in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale. Johnson

We were by no means pleased with our inn at Bristol. "Let us see now, (said I), how we should describe it." Johnson was ready with his raillery. "Describe it, sir? Why, it was so bad that Boswell wished to be in Scotland!"
Boswell, Life of Johnson, of May 1776..

Asked by a Scot what Johnson thought of Scotland: "That it is a very vile country, to be sure, Sir" "Well, Sir! (replies the Scot, somewhat mortified), God made it." Johnson: "Certainly he did; but we must always remember that he made it for Scotchmen, and comparisons are odious, Mr. S------; but God made hell." -- Hester Thrale Piozzi: Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson

Of a person [Burke] who differed from him in politicks, he said, "In private life he is a very honest gentleman; but I will not allow him to be so in public life. People may be honest, though they are doing wrong; that is between their Maker and them. But we, who are suffering by their pernicious conduct, are to destroy them. We are sure that ------ [Burke] acts from interest. We know what his genuine principles were. They who allow their passions to confound the distinctions between right and wrong, are criminal. They may be convinced; but they have not come honestly by their conviction." Boswell: Life of Johnson

He that lives well in the world is better than he that lives well in a monastery. But, perhaps, every one is not able to stem the temptations of public life; and if he cannot conquer, he may properly retreat. Some have little power to do good, and have likewise little strength to resist evil. Many are weary of their conflicts with adversity, and are willing to eject those passions which have long busied them in vain. And many are dismissed by age and diseases from the more laborious duties of society. In monasteries the weak and timorous may be happily sheltered, the weary may repose, and the penitent may meditate. Those retreats of prayer and contemplation have something so congenial to the mind of man that, perhaps, there is scarcely one that does not purpose to close his life in pious abstraction with a few associates serious as himself.
Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [given to the character Imlac]

Seward: "One should think that sickness, and the view of death, would make more men religious."
Johnson: "Sir, they do not know how to go about it: they have not the first notion. A man who has never had religion before, no more grows religious when he is sick, than a man who has never learnt figures can count when he has need of calculation." - James Boswell: Life of Johnson

I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him; you have no business with consequences you are to tell the truth. --Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Inconsistencies ... cannot both be right; but, imputed to man, they may both be true.
Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the character Imlac]

A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and hen thrown out, as good for nothing. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

The arguments for purity of life fail of their due influence, not because they have been considered and confuted, but because they have been passed over without consideration. - Samuel Johnson (Rambler #87)

No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous. - Samuel Johnson: An Introduction To The Political State of Great Britain

Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better. Johnson (1709-1784)

I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence. Samuel Johnson

Were it not for imagination, sir, a man would be as happy in the arms of a chambermaid as a duchess. Dr. Johnson

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

Employment, sir, and hardships prevent melancholy. Johnson

"Depend on it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
Boswell, "The Life of Samuel Johnson" (1791)

I called on Dr. Johnson one morning, when Mrs. Williams, the blind lady, was conversing with him. She was telling him where she had dined the day before. "There were several gentlemen there," said she, "and when some of them came to the tea-table, I found that there had been a good deal of hard drinking." She closed this observation with a common and trite moral reflection; which, indeed, is very ill-founded, and does great injustice to animals -- "I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves." "*I* wonder, Madam," replied the Doctor, "that you have not penetration to see the strong inducement to this excess; for he who makes a *beast* of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
Anecdotes of the Revd. Percival Stockdale; collected in "Johnsonian Miscellanies," edited by G.B. Hill.

Where a great proportion of the people are suffered to languish in helpless misery, that country must be ill policed, and wretchedly governed: a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.--Samuel Johnson

Of Mr. Johnson's erudition the world has been the judge, and we who produce each a score of his sayings, as proofs of that wit which in him was inexhaustible, resemble travellers who having visited Delhi or Golconda bring home each a handful of oriental pearls, to evince the riches of the Great Mogul.
Mrs. Hester Piozzi, _Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson_, 1786

John Wesley's conversation is good, but he is never at leisure. He is always obliged to go at a certain hour. This is very disagreeable to a man who loves to fold his legs and talk. --Samuel Johnson, quoted Boswell, _Life of Johnson_. 31 March

Seward: "One should think that sickness, and the view of death, would make more men religious." Johnson: "Sir, they do not know how to go about it: they have not the first notion. A man who has never had religion before, no more grows religious when he is sick, than a man who has never learnt figures can count when he has need of calculation. - James Boswell: Life of Samuel Johnson

Those who have no power to judge of past times but by their own, should always doubt their conclusions. - Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

Happy are they ... who shall learn ... not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavours ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errours, and that he who implores strength and courage from above shall find danger and difficulty give way before him. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #65

Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.--Samuel Johnson

The fountain of content must spring up in the mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to see happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he proposes to remove.-- Dr. Johnson

Men who cannot deceive others are very often successful at deceiving themselves. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #31

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought; our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
Samuel Johnson 1709-84 The Idler 1758

Every man naturally persuades himself that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time and frequency of experiment. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)_Prayers and Meditations_

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections their author. To confer duration is not always in our power. We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without too much solicitude for the future, and content ourselves with reflecting that our part is performed. He that waits for an opportunity to do much at once, may breathe out his life in idle wishes, and regret, in the last hour, his useless intentions and barren zeal.
Samuel Johnson: Idler #4

Every funeral may justly be considered as a summons to prepare for that state into which it shows us that we must some time enter; and the summons is more loud and piercing as the event of which it warns us is at less distance. To neglect at any time preparation for death is to sleep on our post at a siege; but to omit it in old age is to sleep at an attack. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #78

We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #60

The Europeans ... are less unhappy than we, but they are not happy. Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed. Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the character Imlac]

Let us cease to consider what, perhaps, may never happen, and what, when it shall happen, will laugh at human speculation. We will not endeavor to modify the motions of the elements, or to fix the destiny of kingdoms. It is our business to consider what beings like us may perform: each laboring for his own happiness by promoting within his circle, however narrow, the happiness of others. - Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the charcater Rasselas]

A perpetual conflict with natural desires seems to be the lot of our present state. In youth we require something of the tardiness and frigidity of age; and in age we must labour to recall the fire and impetuosity of youth; in youth we must learn to respect, and in age to enjoy. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #111

Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man. He that grows old without religious hopes, as he declines into imbecility, and feels pains and sorrows incessantly crowding upon him, falls into a gulf of bottomless misery, in which every reflection must plunge him deeper, and where he finds only new gradations of anguish and precipices of horror. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #69

To hear complaints with patience, even when complaints are vain, is one of the duties of friendship. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #59

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.--- Dr. Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, March 12, 1751.

Adams: But Sir, how can you do this in three years?
Johnson: Sir, I have no doubt I can do it in three years.
Adams: But the French Academy, which consists of forty members, took forty years to compile their dictionary.
Johnson: Sir, thus it is. This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.
James Boswell, Life of Johnson

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose. - Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

Dictionaries are like watches: the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Samuel Johnson (Hester Thrale Piozzi: Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson)

It is not very easy to fix the principles upon which mankind have agreed to eat some animals, and reject others; and as the principle is not evident, it is not uniform. That which is selected as delicate in one country, is by its neighbours abhorred as loathsome.
Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

He talked of the heinousness of the crime of adultery, by which thepeace of families was destroyed. He said, "Confusion of progeny constitutes the essence of the crime; and therefore a woman who breaks her marriage vows is much more criminal than a man who does it. A man, to be sure, is criminal in the sight of God; but he does not do his wife a very material injury, if he does not insult her; if for instance, from mere wantonness of appetite, he steals privately to her chambermaid. Sir, a wife ought not to greatly resent this. I would not receive home a daughter who had run away from her husband on that account. A wife should study to reclaim her husband by more attention to please him. Sir, a man will not, once in a hundred instances, leave his wife and go to a harlot, if his wife has not been negligent of pleasing.-James Boswell: Life of Johnson

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

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good. - Samuel Johnson: Taxation No Tyranny

Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.   - Dr Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784

 No disease of the imagination ... is so difficult of cure as that which is complicated with the dread of guilt: fancy and conscience then act interchangeably upon us, and so often shift their places that the illusions of one are not distinguished from the dictates of the other. If fancy presents images not moral or religious, the mind drives them away when they give it pain; but when melancholic notions take the form of duty, they lay hold on the faculties without opposition, because we are afraid to exclude or banish them. For this reason the superstitious are often melancholy, and the melancholy almost always superstitious." - Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the character Imlac]

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections their author. To confer duration is not always in our power. We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without too much solicitude for the future, and content ourselves with reflecting that our part is performed. He that waits for an opportunity to do much at once, may breathe out his life in idle wishes, and regret, in the last hour, his useless intentions and barren zeal.
Samuel Johnson: Idler #4

Patience and submission are very carefully to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence. We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle; for the calamities of life, like the necessities of nature, are calls to labour and diligence. When we feel any pressure of distress, we are not to conclude that we can only obey the will of Heaven by languishing under it, any more than when we perceive the pain of thirst, we are to imagine that water is prohibited.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #32

Talking of constitutional melancholy, he observed, "A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them." Boswell: "May not he think them down, Sir?" Johnson: "No, Sir. To attempt to think them down is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose himself to rest. To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise.." Boswell: "Should not he provide amusements for himself? Would it not, for instance, be right for him to take a course of chymistry?" Johnson: "Let him take a course of chymistry, or a course of rope-dancing, or a course of any thing to which he is inclined at the time. Let him contrive to have as many retreats for his mind as he can, as many things to which it can fly from itself." - James Boswell: Life of Johnson.

I would rather have the rod to be the general terror to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus or thus, you will bemore esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there's an end on't; whereas, by exciting emulation, and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other." -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

Whoever ... is overrun with suspicion, and detects artifice and stratagem in every proposal, must either have learned by experience or observation the wickedness of mankind, and been taught to avoid fraud by having often suffered or seen treachery; or he must derive his judgment from the consciousness of his own disposition, and impute to others the same inclinations which he feels predominant in himself.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #79

Dependence of the soul upon the seasons, those temporary and periodical ebbs and flows of intellect, may, I suppose, be justly derided as the fumes of vain imagination. ... While this notion has possession of the head, it produces the inability which it supposes. Our powers owe much of their energy to our hopes. When success is attainable, diligence is enforced; but when it is admitted that the faculties are suppressed by a cross wind or a cloudy sky the day is given up without resistance; for who can contend with the course of Nature?- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

The world passes away, and we are passing with it; but there is, doubtless, another world, which will endure for ever. Let us fit ourselves for it. -- Samuel Johnson: Letter to Lucy Porter

A patriot is he whose publick conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment,but refers every thing to the common interest. - Samuel Johnson: The Patriot

Happy are they ... who shall learn ... not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavours ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errours, and that he who implores strength and courage from above shall find danger and difficulty give way before him."- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #65

Mr. Arthur Lee mentioned some Scotch who had taken possession of a barren part of America, and wondered why they would choose it. Johnson: "Why, Sir, all barrenness is comparative. The Scotch would not know it to be barren." Boswell: "Come, come, he is flattering the English. you have now been in Scotland, Sir, and say if you did not see meat and drink enough there." Johnson: "Why yes, Sir; meat and drink enough to give the inhabitants sufficient strength to run away from home.- James Boswell: Life of Johnson

The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England! -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.- Samuel Johnson: Idler #32

Let the libertine reflect a moment on the situation of that woman who, being forsaken by her betrayer, is reduced to the necessity of turning prostitute for bread, and judge of the enormity of his guilt by the evils which it produces. It cannot be doubted but that numbers follow this dreadful course of life with shame, horror, and regret; but where can they hope for refuge? 'The world is not their friend, nor the world's law.' Their sighs, and tears, and groans are criminal in the eye of their tyrants, the bully and the bawd, who fatten on their misery, and threaten them with want or a gaol, if they show the least design of escaping from their bondage.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #107 (March 26, 1751)

Poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption; it will almost always produce a passive compliance with the wickedness of others; and there are few who do not learn by degrees to practise those crimes which they cease to censure.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #57

Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

It is, indeed, apparent, from the constitution of the world, that there must be a time for other thoughts; and a perpetual meditation upon the last hour, however it may become the solitude of a monastery, is inconsistent with many duties of common life. But surely the remembrance of death ought to predominate in our minds, as an habitual and settled principle, always operating, though not always perceived; and our attention should seldom wander so far from our own condition as not to be recalled and fixed by the sight of an event which must soon, we know not how soon, happen likewise to ourselves, and of which, though we cannot appoint the time, we may secure the consequence." -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #78

It is certain that success naturally confirms in us a favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man is willing to allot to accident, friendship, and a thousand causes, which concur in every event without human contrivance or interposition, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.-- Samue Johnson: Rambler #172

..to write and to live are very different. Many who praise virtue, do no more than praise it. - Samuel Johnson: Addison (Lives of the Poets)

Truth is scarcely to be heard but by those from whom it can serve no interest to conceal it.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #150

He that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #108

Whatever or abilities or application, we must submit to learn from others what perhaps would have lain hid for ever from human penetration, had not some remote inquiry brought it to view;  as treasures are thrown up by the ploughman and the digger in the rude exercise of their common occupations. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #154

It is certain that success naturally confirms in us a favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man is willing to allot to accident, friendship, and a thousand causes, which concur in every event without human contrivance or interposition, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.-- Samue Johnson: Rambler #172

In the 1770's surveying the immensity and diversity of London, Dr. Samuel Johnson laid down: "Sir, a man who is tired of London is tired of life." The saying could be rephrased today. A man who hatesAmerica hates humanity.- Paul Johnson

If the decline of Christianity created the modern political zealot--and his crimes--so the evaporation of religious faith among the educated left a vacuum in the minds of Western intellectuals easily filled by secular superstition. --Paul Johnson

A dull country magistrate gave Johnson a long tedious account of his exercising his criminal jurisdiction, the result of which was his having sentenced four convicts to transportation. Johnson, in an agony of impatience to get rid of such a companion, exclaimed, "I heartily wish, Sir, that I were a fifth.- James Boswell: Life of Johnson

The truth is, that no man is much regarded by the rest of the world. He that considers how little he dwells upon the condition of others will learn how little the attention of others is attracted by himself. While we see multitudes passing before us, of whom perhaps not one appears to deserve our notice or excite our sympathy, we should remember, that we likewise are lost in the same throng, that the eye which happens to glance upon us is turned in a moment on him that follows us, and that the utmost which we can reasonably hope or fear, is to fill a vacant hour with prattle and be forgotten. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #159

It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the mind is actually employed in the discharge on any profession. No man would be a Judge, upon the condition of being totally a Judge."-- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

How small of all that human hearts endure
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Dr Johnson

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.... Samuel Johnson

I know not any thing more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed." -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

 No disease of the imagination ... is so difficult of cure as that which is complicated with the dread of guilt: fancy and conscience then act interchangeably upon us, and so often shift their places that the illusions of one are not distinguished from the dictates of the other. If fancy presents images not moral or religious, the mind drives them away when they give it pain; but when melancholic notions take the form of duty, they lay hold on the faculties without opposition, because we are afraid to exclude or banish them. For this reason the superstitious are often melancholy, and the melancholy almost always superstitious." - Samuel Johnson: Rasselas [the character Imlac]

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections their author. To confer duration is not always in our power. We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without too much solicitude for the future, and content ourselves with reflecting that our part is performed. He that waits for an opportunity to do much at once, may breathe out his life in idle wishes, and regret, in the last hour, his useless intentions and barren zeal.
Samuel Johnson: Idler #4

Patience and submission are very carefully to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence. We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle; for the calamities of life, like the necessities of nature, are calls to labour and diligence. When we feel any pressure of distress, we are not to conclude that we can only obey the will of Heaven by languishing under it, any more than when we perceive the pain of thirst, we are to imagine that water is prohibited.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #32

Talking of constitutional melancholy, he observed, "A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them." Boswell: "May not he think them down, Sir?" Johnson: "No, Sir. To attempt to think them down is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose himself to rest. To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise.." Boswell: "Should not he provide amusements for himself? Would it not, for instance, be right for him to take a course of chymistry?" Johnson: "Let him take a course of chymistry, or a course of rope-dancing, or a course of any thing to which he is inclined at the time. Let him contrive to have as many retreats for his mind as he can, as many things to which it can fly from itself." - James Boswell: Life of Johnson.

I would rather have the rod to be the general terror to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus or thus, you will bemore esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there's an end on't; whereas, by exciting emulation, and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other." -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

Whoever ... is overrun with suspicion, and detects artifice and stratagem in every proposal, must either have learned by experience or observation the wickedness of mankind, and been taught to avoid fraud by having often suffered or seen treachery; or he must derive his judgment from the consciousness of his own disposition, and impute to others the same inclinations which he feels predominant in himself.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #79

Dependence of the soul upon the seasons, those temporary and periodical ebbs and flows of intellect, may, I suppose, be justly derided as the fumes of vain imagination. ... While this notion has possession of the head, it produces the inability which it supposes. Our powers owe much of their energy to our hopes. When success is attainable, diligence is enforced; but when it is admitted that the faculties are suppressed by a cross wind or a cloudy sky the day is given up without resistance; for who can contend with the course of Nature?- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

The world passes away, and we are passing with it; but there is, doubtless, another world, which will endure for ever. Let us fit ourselves for it. -- Samuel Johnson: Letter to Lucy Porter

A patriot is he whose publick conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment,but refers every thing to the common interest. - Samuel Johnson: The Patriot

Happy are they ... who shall learn ... not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavours ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errours, and that he who implores strength and courage from above shall find danger and difficulty give way before him."- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #65

Mr. Arthur Lee mentioned some Scotch who had taken possession of a barren part of America, and wondered why they would choose it. Johnson: "Why, Sir, all barrenness is comparative. The Scotch would not know it to be barren." Boswell: "Come, come, he is flattering the English. you have now been in Scotland, Sir, and say if you did not see meat and drink enough there." Johnson: "Why yes, Sir; meat and drink enough to give the inhabitants sufficient strength to run away from home.- James Boswell: Life of Johnson

The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England! -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.- Samuel Johnson: Idler #32

Let the libertine reflect a moment on the situation of that woman who, being forsaken by her betrayer, is reduced to the necessity of turning prostitute for bread, and judge of the enormity of his guilt by the evils which it produces. It cannot be doubted but that numbers follow this dreadful course of life with shame, horror, and regret; but where can they hope for refuge? 'The world is not their friend, nor the world's law.' Their sighs, and tears, and groans are criminal in the eye of their tyrants, the bully and the bawd, who fatten on their misery, and threaten them with want or a gaol, if they show the least design of escaping from their bondage.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #107 (March 26, 1751)

Poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption; it will almost always produce a passive compliance with the wickedness of others; and there are few who do not learn by degrees to practise those crimes which they cease to censure.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #57

Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

It is, indeed, apparent, from the constitution of the world, that there must be a time for other thoughts; and a perpetual meditation upon the last hour, however it may become the solitude of a monastery, is inconsistent with many duties of common life. But surely the remembrance of death ought to predominate in our minds, as an habitual and settled principle, always operating, though not always perceived; and our attention should seldom wander so far from our own condition as not to be recalled and fixed by the sight of an event which must soon, we know not how soon, happen likewise to ourselves, and of which, though we cannot appoint the time, we may secure the consequence." -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #78

It is certain that success naturally confirms in us a favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man is willing to allot to accident, friendship, and a thousand causes, which concur in every event without human contrivance or interposition, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.-- Samue Johnson: Rambler #172

..to write and to live are very different. Many who praise virtue, do no more than praise it. - Samuel Johnson: Addison (Lives of the Poets)

Truth is scarcely to be heard but by those from whom it can serve no interest to conceal it.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #150

He that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #108

Whatever or abilities or application, we must submit to learn from others what perhaps would have lain hid for ever from human penetration, had not some remote inquiry brought it to view;  as treasures are thrown up by the ploughman and the digger in the rude exercise of their common occupations. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #154

It is certain that success naturally confirms in us a favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man is willing to allot to accident, friendship, and a thousand causes, which concur in every event without human contrivance or interposition, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.-- Samue Johnson: Rambler #172

What signifies, says some one, giving halfpence to beggars? they only lay it out in gin or tobacco. "And why should they be denied such sweeteners of their existence (says Johnson)? it is surely very savage to refuse them every possible avenue to pleasure, reckoned too coarse for our own acceptance. Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding; yet for the poor we delight in stripping it still barer, and are not ashamed to shew even visible displeasure, if ever the bitter taste is taken from their mouths." -- Hester Thrale Piozzi: Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson

A man may write at any time, if he will set himself *doggedly* to it. -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.- Samuel Johnson: Idler #32

Let the libertine reflect a moment on the situation of that woman who, being forsaken by her betrayer, is reduced to the necessity of turning prostitute for bread, and judge of the enormity of his guilt by the evils which it produces. It cannot be doubted but that numbers follow this dreadful course of life with shame, horror, and regret; but where can they hope for refuge? 'The world is not their friend, nor the world's law.' Their sighs, and tears, and groans are criminal in the eye of their tyrants, the bully and the bawd, who fatten on their misery, and threaten them with want or a gaol, if they show the least design of escaping from their bondage.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #107 (March 26, 1751)

Poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption; it will almost always produce a passive compliance with the wickedness of others; and there are few who do not learn by degrees to practise those crimes which they cease to censure.- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #57

Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

Madness frequently discovers itself merely by unnecessary deviation from the usual modes of the world. My poor friend Smart showed the disturbance of his mind, by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the street, or in any other unusual place. Now although, rationally speaking, it is greater madness not to pray at all, than to pray as Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray that their understanding is not called in question.- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

It is enough if we have stated seasons of prayer; no matter when. A man may as well pray when he mounts his horse, or a woman when she milks her cow, as at meals; and custom is to be followed.- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides)

Politicks are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage in politicks, and their whole conduct proceeds upon it.- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

[Johnson } said "the poor in England were better provided for, than in any other country of the same extent: he did not mean little Cantons, or pretty Republicks. Where a great proportion of the people are suffered to languish in helpless misery, that country must be ill policed, and wretchedly governed: a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization." -- James Boswell: The Life of Samuel Johnson

The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborn by the multitude of our assailants.--Dr. Johnson

O God, Who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired, should be sought by labor, and Who, by Thy blessing, bringest honest labor to good effect; look with mercy upon my studies and endeavors. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right, and afford me calmness of mind, and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do Thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

The publick pleasures of far the greater part of mankind are counterfeit. ... The general condition of life is so full of misery, that we are glad to catch delight without enquiring whence it comes, or by what power it is bestowed." -- Samuel Johnson: Idler #18

Whoever rises above those who once pleased themselves with equality, will have many malevolent gazers at his eminence.--Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), _The Rambler_ [1750-1752], #172

God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I? ----Samuel Johnson (attributed)

To love their country has been considered as virtue in men, whose love could not be otherwise than blind, because their preference was made without, a comparison; but it has never been my fortune to find, either in ancient or modern writers, any honourable mention of those, who have, with equal blindness, hated their country.- Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny

Scarcely any law of our Redeemer is more openly transgressed, or more industriously evaded, than that by which he commands his followers to forgive injuries. - Samuel Johnson, Rambler #185

Study requires solitude, and solitude is a state dangerous to those who are too much accustomed to sink into themselves." -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #89

Of him that hopes to be forgiven it is indispensably required that he forgive. It is therefore superfluous to urge any other motive. On this great duty eternity is suspended, and to him that refuses to practise it the throne of mercy is inaccessible, and the Saviour of the world has been born in vain. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #185

I said to [Johnson] I supposed there was no civilised country in the world, where the misery of want in the lowest classes of the people was prevented. Johnson: "I believe, Sir, there is not; but it is better that some should be unhappy, than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality." -- Jamers Boswell: Life of Johnson

He whose courage has made way against the turbulence of opposition, and whose vigour has broken through the snares of distress, has many advantages over those that have slept in the shades of indolence, and whose retrospect of time can entertain them with nothing but day rising upon day, and year gliding after year.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #150

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified. --Samuel Johnson

When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #55

Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #98

The Fountain of Content must spring up in the mind; and ... he, who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing any thing, but his own dispositions, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.-- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #6

We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #60

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that everything in the uni-verse is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, `I refute it thus.'-James Boswell, _Life of Samuel Johnson_

All industry must be excited by hope. -- Samuel Johnson: Rambler #117

Sir, you are giving a reason for it, but that will not make it right. -- Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, sickness, of captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable.--Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)_The Rambler_ [1750-1752], #67

There must always be a struggle between a father and son, while one aims at power and the other at independence. --Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)_Boswell's Life of Johnson_ [July 14, 1763]

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

In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence.- Samuel Johnson: Addison (Lives of the Poets)

Among those who have endeavoured to promote learning and rectify judgment, it has long been customary to complain of the abuse of words, which are often admitted to signify things so different that, instead of assisting the understanding as vehicles of knowledge, they produce error, dissension, and perplexity, because what is affirmed in one sense is received in another. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #202 New Quote 10

Sonia Johnson

All along one of my complaints was his absence from home, and even worse, his absence when he *was* home--Sonia Johnson, From Housewife to Heretic.

Wendell Johnson (1906 &endash; 1965)

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use. - Wendell Johnson (1906 &endash; 1965)

Brian Johnston (1912-94)

The batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willey.~ Brian 'Johnners' Johnston 1912-94 (commentating a cricket Test Match as Michael Holding faced bowler Peter Willey)

Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end. ~ Brian Johnston 1912-94

Winnie May Johnson

Whenever tragedy strikes and people ask, "Why did this have to happen to me?" I always want to say to them, "Why not you? Are you so much different from the rest of the human race?"--Winnie May Johnson (1893-1990)

Franklin P. Jones

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. -Franklin P. Jones

Whoever thinks marriage is a 50-50 proposition doesn't know the half of it. Franklin P. Jones

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.-- Franklin P. Jones

Experience is that marvellous thing that enables you recognise a mistake when you make it again. --F. P. Jones

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.--Franklin P. Jones

E Stanley Jones

When we talk about what we believe we divide. When we talk about who we believe in we unite.--E Stanley Jones

Erica Jong

It helps to have a friend in court when one is constantly sentencing oneself to death - Erica Jong

Facial hair on men is also a powerful symbol. It represents nonconformity, masculinity and unruliness. - Erica Jong

We may dig in our heels and dare life never to change, but, all the same, it changes under our feet like sand under the feet of a sea gazer as the tide runs out. Life is forever undermining us. Life is forever washing away our castles, reminding us that they were, after all, only sand and sea water.- Erica Jong: Parachutes and Kisses

Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master. -- Ben Jonson

Calumnies are answered best with silence. Ben Jonson

I have betrayed myself with my own tongue; The case is altered. Ben Jonson

Language most shewes a man: speake that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired, and inmost parts of us, and is the Image of the Parent of it, the mind. No glasse renders a mans forme, or likenesse, so true as his speech. - Ben Jonson "Oratio Imago Animi"

He was not of an age, but for all time.
Ben Jonson, To the Memory of my Beloved, the Author, Mr William Shakespeare.

Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook. --Ben Jonson (1572-1637) In "Wisdom of the Ages at Your Fingertips," MCR software, 1995.

A good life is a maine Argument.
Ben Jonson_Timber: or, Discoveries, made vpon men and matter: as they have flow'd out of his daily Readings ; or had their refluxe to his peculiar Notion of the Times_, 1640 Discoveries, Topic 17, "Probitas. sapientia." ("Honesty and Wisdom")

Barbara Jordan (1936-1966)

We must exchange the philosophy of excuse -- what I am is beyond my control for the philosophy of responsibility. Barbara Jordan (1936-1966) Speech at Bar Association, 1967.

 

James Jordan

The Christian Reconstructionists have linked the hope for "Christian nations" with (what I call) "idealistic post-millennialism," in which they expect "the nations to be converted, [where] people will WANT to live Godly lives, will VOLUNTARILY institute theocracy (Christian republics) in their nations, and will unify their churches freely and cordially. This is a triumphalism of a sort, but a triumph gained by converting the heart, not by imposing the will"
James Jordan, personal letter to E.A.P., June 25, 1981

Michael Jordan

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.... Michael Jordan

Hemant Joshi

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together. Hemant Joshi

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

Genuine bon mots surprise those from whose lips they fall, no less than they do those who listen to them.--Joseph Joubert, _Pense'es_, 1842

Be charitable and indulgent to every one but thyself. Joubert (1754-1824)

Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth. -- Joseph Joubert

Never cut what you can untie.-- Joseph Joubert

Choose in marriage only a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.- Joubert

Bertrand de Jouvenal

A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.- - Bertrand de Jouvenel

Barbarian invasions would be superfluous: We are our own Huns. -- Bertrand de Jouvenal

John Henry Jowett (1841-1923)

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters. --John Henry Jowett (1841-1923)

James Joyce (1882 &endash; 1941)

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare form which I am trying to wake. - James Joyce, Ulysses

Shaw's works make me admire the magnificent tolerance and broadmindedness of the English. - James Joyce (1882 &endash; 1941)

Adoniram Judson

The future is as bright as the promises of God.
Adoniram Judson, pioneer missionary to Burma who faced imprisonment and many other trials taking the good news to Burma.

Carl Jung (1875-1961)

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. --Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Gustav Jung

[I]t is...the individual's task to differentiate himself from all the others & stand on his own feet. All collective identities...interfere with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy....--C. G. Jung, "Late Thoughts," in _Memories, Dreams, Reflections_

There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion. Carl Jung

One cannot live without inconsistency. -- C. G. Jung

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.-- Carl Gustav Jung

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.-C. G. Jung, (Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1933)

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. -- Carl Gustav Jung 

I regret many follies which sprang from my obstinancy; but without that trait I would not have reached my goal. - Carl G.Jung

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. -- Carl Gustav Jung

The inner voice is at once our greatest danger and an indispensable help.--Carl G. Jung (1875-1961)_The Development of Personality_ [1954]

Franciscus Junius 1589-1677

By persuading others, we convince ourselves. ~ Franciscus Junius 1589-1677, The Letters of Junius (1768)

Juvenal

We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them.-Juvenal

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes. Juvenal (loosely translated: "Who watches the watchmen?" literally:" Who will guard the guardians themselves?")

And there 's a lust in man no charm can tame
Of loudly publishing our neighbour's shame;
On eagles' wings immortal scandals fly,
While virtuous actions are but born and die.
Stephen Harvey (circa 1627): Juvenal, Satire ix

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Graham Weeks

Last Modified: 3/7/05