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Samuel Johnson

1709-1784. British man of letters, one of the outstanding figures of 18th-century England.

Books by Samuel Johnson

What ever the motive for the insult, it is always best to overlook it; for folly doesn't deserve resentment, and malice is punished by neglect.

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To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly.

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The majority have no other reason for their opinions than that they are the fashion.

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Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle.

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More knowledge may be gained of a man's real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative, begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral.

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Labor, if it were not necessary for existence, would be indispensable for the happiness of man.

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Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.

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Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.

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Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information about it.

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Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force.

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