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Quotes by Samuel Johnson his wife and death.

Updated on June 28, 2012

Quotes to live your life by.

Not only are Samuel Johnson's quotes observant, witty, clever, well rounded and thought provoking. They are also ones that can enrich and educate you throughout life. Samuel Johnson or Dr Johnson as he is better remembered lived a diverse and interesting life. The son of a shop owner he is one of history's most respected and fondly thought of characters. Even though he never got to complete his university education at Oxford due to lack of founds, he is still thought of as one of England's most educated men.

He also started up a boys school that failed, yet its first student David Garrick went on to become one of the most revered and successful actors of that time. He started up the literary club in 1764, which attracted all manor of famous, respected and learned individuals of the day. He was an avid reader growing up and not short of material to explore as his father owned a book shop and he took full advantage of this.

In his time he was a lexicographer, a teacher, a religious writer and a literary critic. He became a widow after the death of his wife Elizabeth Jarvis Porter and he even published work anonymously that became a huge success. He was an incredible man who lived a full and incredible life. I hope you enjoy the following quotes as much as I do.

Always, Sir, set a high value on spontaneous kindness.

This is my favourite quote by Samuel Johnson, I feel it is of far more worth then any other, even though it is not as profound or literary of even of much educational merit as some of the others. I think if you only remember one of these quotes I have shared with you, I hope it is this one. Purely because I beleive it has greater sentiment and is of more importance if followed and taken to heart then any of the others.

The end of writing is to instruct; the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing.

As well as writing (hopefully) interesting and informative articles, I am also a writer of poetry. Although there is a certain satisfaction that is gained from reading a factual piece of writing, there is an added element of reading pleasure that is to be derived from poetry. Through poetry and to a certain degree lyrics, there is a level of communicating feelings and ideas and expressing them in words that other forms of writing are just not quite able to do.

All envy would be extinguished, if it were universally known that their are none to be envied.

How absolutely wonderful would it be if we could all bear this thought in mind, if we could understand that we all have greatness in our lives and we all have our own unique gifts and talents. If we could understand that there is nothing in this world to be jealous of I think we would all be far happier as a result.

Whatever you have spend less.

This is probably the best piece of financial advice I have ever heard. It took me to the age of (nearly) thirty before I came to realize just how much of the stuff that I already have that I took for granted and forgot to appreciate. And the droves of unnecessary purchases I made. I'm not suggesting you stop buying things you need or even stop buying things you want but it is always a good idea to think long and hard before you part with your cash. When I first considered this I thought how can I spend less? It's not like I'm a millionaire (yet) or anything, Is it really possible to cut back? In short, yes and I did and I am much richer and far happier for it.

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Judging by this Samuel Johnson was a man who loved the capital. It is also a quote that is as relevant today as it was back then, even after three hundred years London is still a city that has all that the world has to offer. I do not live in London but of the times I have visited it, I can't imagine that anyone in a lifetime could experience it all. It is the multicultural capital of the world and with that you get to witness every global element you could think of, the range of food, language, art, fashion, culture is just immense and the atmosphere is exciting and diverse. Who could ask for more then that?

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.

This quote is so fundamental and accurate about what it means to be human beings and what we are about at our very core and I have not known of this sentiment expressed quite as eloquently as it has been then by this quote. Samuel Johnson knew that people should not be defined by their status, wealth or appearance and that in all the ways that matter and that are deeply primal we are all the same deep down. He met so many individuals throughout his lifetime that he soon came determine that one was essentially the same as the other, regardless of class or culture.

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.

To make any headway in life and feel fulfilled you have to love what you do. The most significant scientific breakthroughs, influential inventions and successful works are a result of love and passion. If you do not feel love and passion for what you do you can never achieve excellence or success in it, because there will never be enough drive or appreciation for the subject. You can not fully comprehend anything of which you do not want to work at understanding. When you take pleasure in a subject or area of expertise you will happily spend all of your available time figuring out all of its details intimately. If there is a problem that fascinates you, it is not a chore to labour over it. You are more lightly to persevere and complete a project that you are passionate about, then one you feel nothing for.

Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing it's great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts. It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in the multiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that the wonderful immensity of London consists.

This is true for anywhere you would possibly imagine visiting in the world. Although the great achievements and famous sites are worth visiting for their merit and magnitude. These are not what determines what an area is all about. The true scale and experience of an area comes from the people who live there. It is about the history of which is steeped in its foundations and its about the culture of the place that defines it. You can only gage so much from what is revered and from the bigger picture of a place, the detail will come from off of the beaten track.

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.

The English language has five times more words then any other and I love that fact. I love words and language and as you can tell from this and other hubs of mine, quotations too. Not only do they reinforce and expand our knowledge of words, they do the same for ideas and feelings too. There is something so intrinsically fascinating about someone echoing your thoughts and beliefs. Or reading a quote for the first time and it triggers something within you that had lain dormant. You can tell a lot from a person judging by their quotes. For instance a quote from William Shakespeare would be of an entirely different calibre then say for instance one from former president of the United States George W Bush. They are nuggets of wisdom, little lessons and reasurance that you are not the only person on the planet that feel that way.


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    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you Rosemary Banks, glad you enjoyed it :)

    • profile image

      Rosemary Banks 

      6 years ago

      Interesting article but a good one. I'm always in to quotes and words of wisdom.


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