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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

A continual feast of commendation is only to be obtained by merit or by wealth: many are therefore obliged to content themselves with single morsels, and recompense the infrequency of their enjoyment by excess and riot, whenever fortune sets the banquet before them.

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He who praises everybody, praises nobody.

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Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages.

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And then, Sir, there is this consideration, that if the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.

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A mere literary man is a dull man; a man who is solely a man of business is a selfish man; but when literature and commerce are united, they make a respectable man.

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Attention and respect give pleasure, however late, or however useless. But they are not useless, when they are late, it is reasonable to rejoice, as the day declines, to find that it has been spent with the approbation of mankind.

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Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled.

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If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written.

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The highest panegyric, therefore, that private virtue can receive, is the praise of servants.

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He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly become corrupt.

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