Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Dr. (Samuel) Johnson

“On Point” is a rather good radio programme which emanates from station WBUR in Boston. I often listen to the programme from  my car radio.

The topic today was a new biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson, by Jeffrey Meyers.  The programme may be accessed at:

It put me in mind of some of the pithy and wise “sayings” of Samuel Johnson.  Here are some of them.  (The final one is my favourite).


One of the disadvantages of wine is that is makes a man mistake words for thoughts.

None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence.

The future is purchased by the present.

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.

It is unjust to claim the privileges of age and retain the playthings of childhood.

It is better to live rich than to die rich

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone.

Nothing at all will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.

When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.

We would spend a lot less time worrying about what people thought about us, if we realised how little time they spent doing it.

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