Depend on it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
Source: Letter to Boswell, 19 Sept. 1777
Contributed by: Zaady
Sir, you have but two topics, yourself and me. I am sick of both.
Source: Boswell’s Life of Johnson
Adversity is the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free from admirers then.
The first years of man must make provision for the last.
Source: Abyssinia. Rasselas. Chap. xvii.
Wine makes a man better pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.
A thousand years may elapse before there shall appear another man with a power of versification equal to that of Pope.
Source: BOSWELL, Life of Johnson, 1791
He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into the short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.
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 a few words.
Attack is the reaction. I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.
Source: Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. v. Chap. vi. 1775.
Johnson observed that he 'did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney'.
Source: Johnsonian Miscellanies
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