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Samuel Butler's Quotes

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Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Poet
Nation: British
Biography of Samuel Butler

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A drunkard would not give money to sober people. He said they would only eat it, and buy clothes and send their children to school with it.

Tags: Children, Money, School

If the headache would only precede the intoxication, alcoholism would be a virtue.

Tags: Alcoholism, Headache, Virtue

The worst thing that can happen to a man is to lose his money, the next worst his health, the next worst his reputation.

Tags: Happen, Health, Money

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.

Tags: Business, Enjoy, Life

God cannot alter the past, though historians can.

Tags: God, History, Past

Lying has a kind of respect and reverence with it. We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him.

Tags: Him, Lie, Respect

The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.

Tags: Serious, Seriously, Taken

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.

Tags: Death, Die, May

We are not won by arguments that we can analyse but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.

Tags: Himself, Temper, Won

From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.

Tags: Great, Mistake, Point

Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.

Tags: Human, Life, Morning

A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget.

Tags: Bad, Forget, Friend

Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.

Tags: Life, Living, Worth

Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Tags: Feeling, Life, Music

Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.

Tags: Injustice, Justice, Whatever

Man is God's highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.

Tags: God, Latest, Present

The Ancient Mariner would not have taken so well if it had been called The Old Sailor.

Tags: Old, Sailor, Taken

The seven deadly sins: Want of money, bad health, bad temper, chastity, family ties, knowing that you know things, and believing in the Christian religion.

Tags: Family, Health, Religion

A lawyer's dream of heaven: every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.

Tags: Dream, Heaven, Tried

For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.

Tags: Precious, Rich, Truth

Logic is like the sword - those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.

Tags: Logic, Shall, Sword

When you've told someone that you've left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once.

Tags: Die, Once, Someone

Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.

Tags: Life, Money, Women
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I really do not see much use in exalting the humble and meek; they do not remain humble and meek long when they are exalted.

Tags: Humble, Meek, Remain

If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.

Tags: Death, Life, Seriously

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.

Tags: Fool, Lie, Truth

Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances.

Tags: Dying, Themselves, Young

People are lucky and unlucky not according to what they get absolutely, but according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.

Tags: Between, Expect, Lucky

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.

Tags: Dangerous, Knowledge

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.

Tags: Hate, Lying, Mind

I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.

Tags: Knew, Time, Writer

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument.

Tags: Argument, Irony, Neither

Oaths are but words, and words are but wind.

Tags: Oaths, Wind, Words

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

Tags: Fool, Great, Yourself

Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.

Tags: Common, Reach, Sense

Be virtuous and you will be vicious.

Tags: Vicious, Virtuous

If people would dare to speak to one another unreservedly, there would be a good deal less sorrow in the world a hundred years hence.

Tags: Another, Good, Speak

Our minds want clothes as much as our bodies.

Tags: Bodies, Clothes, Minds

The history of art is the history of revivals.

Tags: Art, History

To give pain is the tyranny; to make happy, the true empire of beauty.

Tags: Beauty, Happy, Pain

A man should be just cultured enough to be able to look with suspicion upon culture at first, not second hand.

Tags: Able, Culture, Enough

A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage - but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.

Tags: Friends, Less, Marriage

A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.

Tags: Far, Men, War

All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.

Tags: Home, Nonsense, Others

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

Tags: Beyond, Desire, Progress

Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.

Tags: Good, Half, Rather

If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.

Tags: Cannot, Remains, Shall

If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.

Tags: Enough, Far, Reason

Let every man be true and every god a liar.

Tags: God, Liar, True

Letters are like wine; if they are sound they ripen with keeping. A man should lay down letters as he does a cellar of wine.

Tags: Keeping, Sound, Wine

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.

Tags: Character, Complete, Life

My main wish is to get my books into other people's rooms, and to keep other people's books out of mine.

Tags: Books, Keep, Wish

Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.

Tags: Claus, Nobody, Santa

One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.

Tags: Fighting, Off, Once

Our ideas are for the most part like bad sixpences, and we spend our lives trying to pass them on one another.

Tags: Another, Bad, Trying

Silence and tact may or may not be the same thing.

Tags: May, Silence, Tact

The Bible may be the truth, but it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Tags: May, Truth, Whole

The dead should be judged like criminals, impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of the doubt.

Tags: Dead, Doubt, Judged

The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.

Tags: Busy, Men, Young

The healthy stomach is nothing if it is not conservative. Few radicals have good digestions.

Tags: Few, Good, Healthy

The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.

Tags: Bore, Bored, Himself

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.

Tags: Distrust, Matter, Service

The oldest books are only just out to those who have not read them.

Tags: Books, Oldest, Read

There is no bore like a clever bore.

Tags: Bore, Clever

There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.

Tags: Error, Source, Truth

There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.

Tags: Absence, Thought, Unless

There is nothing which at once affects a man so much and so little as his own death.

Tags: Affects, Death, Once

They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, 'Can he name a kitten?'

Tags: Power, Whether, Write

To die is but to leave off dying and do the thing once for all.

Tags: Die, Off, Once

When you have told anyone you have left him a legacy, the only decent thing to do is die at once.

Tags: Die, Him, Once

Women can stand a beating except when it is with their own weapons.

Tags: Except, Stand, Women

You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.

Tags: Faith

A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner, but more durable alloy.

Tags: Durable, Gold, Virtue

All truth is not to be told at all times.

Tags: Times, Truth

And so there is no God but has been in the loins of past gods.

Tags: God, Gods, Past

Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.

Tags: Body, Moving, Path

Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.

Tags: Books, Someone, Takes

Christ was only crucified once and for a few hours. Think of the hundreds of thousands whom Christ has been crucifying in a quiet way ever since.

Tags: Few, Once, Since

Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.

Tags: Abroad, Death, Larger

Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.

Tags: Evil, Soon, Water

Faith - you can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.

Tags: Faith

God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.

Tags: After, Effort, God

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.

Tags: God, Last, Witch

God was satisfied with his own work, and that is fatal.

Tags: God, Satisfied, Work

He has spent his life best who has enjoyed it most. God will take care that we do not enjoy it any more than is good for us.

Tags: God, Good, Life

He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still.

Tags: Against, Opinion

In old times people used to try and square the circle; now they try and devise schemes for satisfying the Irish nation.

Tags: Nation, Old, Try

In the midst of vice we are in virtue, and vice versa.

Tags: Midst, Vice, Virtue

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.

Tags: Evil, Love, Money

It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents.

Tags: Father, Music, Wise

It is our less conscious thoughts and our less conscious actions which mainly mould our lives and the lives of those who spring from us.

Tags: Lives, Spring, Thoughts

It is seldom very hard to do one's duty when one knows what it is, but it is often exceedingly difficult to find this out.

Tags: Difficult, Hard, Often

It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.

Tags: Keep, Virtue, Within

Justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.

Tags: Justice, She, Sometimes

Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.

Tags: Animal, Laughs, State

Marriage is distinctly and repeatedly excluded from heaven. Is this because it is thought likely to mar the general felicity?

Tags: Heaven, Marriage, Thought

Men are seldom more commonplace than on supreme occasions.

Tags: Men, Seldom, Supreme

Men should not try to overstrain their goodness more than any other faculty, bodily or mental.

Tags: Goodness, Men, Try

Morality is the custom of one's country and the current feeling of one's peers.

Tags: Country, Feeling, Morality

No mistake is more common and more fatuous than appealing to logic in cases which are beyond her jurisdiction.

Tags: Common, Her, Mistake
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