Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
Contributed by: Zaady
Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Source: Mrs. Piozzi, Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson, 1786
Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.
Source: Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. ii. Chap. v. 1763.
Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
Source: Abyssinia. Rasselas. Chap. xvi.
Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.
Source: Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. iv. Chap. ii. 1773.
A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.
The expense is damnable, the position is ridiculous, and the pleasure fleeting.
Then with no throbs of fiery pain, No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way.
Source: Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 9.
His death eclipsed the gayety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
Source: Life of Edmund Smith (alluding to the death of Garrick).
Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay.
Source: Line added to Goldsmith's Deserted Village.
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