Quotations by Samuel Butler

165 Found
Displaying 1 through 50


Born: Friday, December 4, 1835
Died: Wednesday, June 18, 1902 (66 years old)
Profession: Poet
Nationality: British


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.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Money, People, Children, Clothes, School)

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.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Friend, Forget)

A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
- Samuel Butler

A lawyer's dream of heaven: every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Dream, Man, Property)

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Knowledge, Want)

A man should be just cultured enough to be able to look with suspicion upon culture at first, not second hand.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Culture, First, Man, Suspicion)

A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage - but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Marriage, Friends, Man, Will)

A physician's physiology has much the same relation to his power of healing as a cleric's divinity has to his power of influencing conduct.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Power, Divinity, Healing)

A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those worth committing.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Humor, Man, Sense, Will, Worth)

A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Men, War)

A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner, but more durable alloy.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Virtue, Gold)

Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: People, Common sense)

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Business, Life, Animals, Man)

All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Home, Nonsense)

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Progress, Desire, Income)

All truth is not to be told at all times.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Truth)

An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Apology, Books)

And so there is no God but has been in the loins of past gods.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Gods, Past)

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Truth, Lie, Fool, Man, Sense)

Be virtuous and you will be vicious.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Will)

Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Belief, Body)

Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Books)

Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Money, Women, Life)

Christ and The Church: If he were to apply for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, adultery and desertion, he would probably get one.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Adultery, Christ, Cruelty, Divorce)

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.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Christ, Quiet)

Christ: I dislike him very much. Still, I can stand him. What I cannot stand is the wretched band of people whose profession is to hoodwink us about him.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: People, Profession)

Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Death)

Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Day, Tomorrow, Trouble, Will)

Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: World)

Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Architecture, Music, Work, Literature, Man)

Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Evil, Water)

Faith - you can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Faith, Nothing)

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Fear, Hearing)

For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Truth, Swine)

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Friendship, Money)

From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Mistake, Being, Right)

God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Devil, Effort, Labor)

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Now)

God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Historians, Past)

God was satisfied with his own work, and that is fatal.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, Work)

Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Abstinence, Vices, World)

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.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Life, God, Care, Will)

He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Opinion, Will)

Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Life, Dew)

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Hate, Lying, Mind)

I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Time, Style, Writer)

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.
- Samuel Butler

If God wants us to do a thing, he should make his wishes sufficiently clear. Sensible people will wait till he has done this before paying much attention to him.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: God, People, Attention, Will, Wishes)

If I die prematurely I shall be saved from being bored to death at my own success.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Death, Success, Being)

If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.
- Samuel Butler
(Keywords: Death, Life)



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