Samuel Butler Quotes.
Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.
Morality is the custom of one’s country and the current feeling of one’s peers.
Be virtuous and you will be vicious.
Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. If you look at it to admire it, you are lost.
Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know.
And so there is no God but has been in the loins of past gods.
There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.
To live is like to love – all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.
Oaths are but words, and words are but wind.
The worst thing that can happen to a man is to lose his money, the next worst his health, the next worst his reputation.
Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. I you look at it to admire it, you are lost.
Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.
God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in continual fear lest she should catch a cold on overexposure.
A man’s friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage – but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
Look before you leap for as you sow, ye are like to reap.
The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.
The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.
Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.
No mistake is more common and more fatuous than appealing to logic in cases which are beyond her jurisdiction.
From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.
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.
When you’ve told someone that you’ve left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once.
Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.
Silence and tact may or may not be the same thing.
All truth is not to be told at all times.
There is such a thing as doing good that evil may come.
Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.
Theist and atheist: the fight between them is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name.
The healthy stomach is nothing if it is not conservative. Few radicals have good digestions.
For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.
There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.
Logic is like the sword – those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.
Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it.
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.
When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.
People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever or amiable.
Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.
Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.
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.
To die is but to leave off dying and do the thing once for all.
Life is one long process of getting tired.
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.
Men are seldom more commonplace than on supreme occasions.
The youth of an art is, like the youth of anything else, its most interesting period. When it has come to the knowledge of good and evil it is stronger, but we care less about it.
In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
The Ancient Mariner would not have taken so well if it had been called The Old Sailor.
The want of money is the root of all evil.
If I die prematurely I shall be saved from being bored to death at my own success.
The only living works are those which have drained much of the author’s own life into them.
Marriage is distinctly and repeatedly excluded from heaven. Is this because it is thought likely to mar the general felicity?
Justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.
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.
You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.
The oldest books are only just out to those who have not read them.
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.
The Bible may be the truth, but it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.
The voice of the Lord is the voice of common sense, which is shared by all that is.
Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.
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.
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.
The function of vice is to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.
To give pain is the tyranny; to make happy, the true empire of beauty.
People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.
If the headache would only precede the intoxication, alcoholism would be a virtue.
He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still.
Women can stand a beating except when it is with their own weapons.
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.
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.
God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.
The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty and death of public opinion.
An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
We shall never get people whose time is money to take much interest in atoms.
Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
Life is not an exact science, it is an art.
Don’t learn to do, but learn in doing.
Mr. Tennyson has said that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of, but he wisely refrains from saying whether they are good or bad things.
We are not won by arguments that we can analyse but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.
To know God better is only to realize how impossible it is that we should ever know him at all. I know not which is more childish to deny him, or define him.
Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.
Opinions have vested interests just as men have.
I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
There is no bore like a clever bore.
Men should not try to overstrain their goodness more than any other faculty, bodily or mental.
The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance.
Our ideas are for the most part like bad sixpences, and we spend our lives trying to pass them on one another.
It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy – but he who has shown the better temper.
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.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
Words are like money; there is nothing so useless, unless when in actual use.
It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.
Money is the last enemy that shall never be subdued. While there is flesh there is money or the want of money, but money is always on the brain so long as there is a brain in reasonable order.
One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.
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.
Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.
A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.
It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents.
They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, ‘Can he name a kitten?’
We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Faith – you can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.
Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing.
I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.
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.
A lawyer’s dream of heaven: every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.
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.
The sinews of art and literature, like those of war, are money.
Man is God’s highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.
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.
Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.
It is tact that is golden, not silence.
Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Let every man be true and every god a liar.
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.
There is no true gracefulness which is not epitomized goodness.
God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.