Samuel Butler

Samuel
Butler
1835
1902

English Poet, Novelist, Scholar, Translator

Author Quotes

Though wisdom cannot be gotten for gold, still less can it be gotten without it. Gold, or the value of what's equivalent to gold, lies at the root of wisdom, and enters so largely into the very essence of the Holy Ghost that 'no gold, no Holy Ghost' may pass as an axiom.

True as the dial to the sun, Although it be not shin'd upon.

We know so well what we are doing ourselves and why we do it, do we not? I fancy that there is some truth in the view which is being put forward nowadays, that 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.

When we go up to the shelves in the reading-room of the British Museum, how like it is to wasps flying up and down an apricot tree that is trained against a wall, or cattle coming down to drink at a pool!

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

Through perils both of wind and limb, Through thick and thin she follow'd him.

Truth consists not in never lying but in knowing when to lie and when not to do so.

We meet people every day whose bodies are evidently those of men and women long dead, but whose appearance we know through their portraits.

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

You can have all ego, or all non-ego, but in theory you cannot have half one and half the other - yet in practice this is exactly what you must have, for everything is both itself and not itself at one and the same time.

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.

Truth is generally kindness, but where the two diverge and collide, kindness should override truth.

We must judge men not so much by what they, as by what they make us feel that they have it in them to do. If a man has done enough in either painting, music, or the affairs of life, to make me feel that I might trust him in an emergency he has done enough

Where entity and quiddity, the ghosts of defunct bodies, fly.

Young as he was, his instinct told him that the best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.

To be at all is to be religious more or less

Union may be strength, but it is mere blind brute strength unless wisely directed.

We play out our days as we play out cards, taking them as they come, not knowing what they will be, hoping for a lucky card and sometimes getting one, often getting just the wrong one.

Whether the universe is really a paying concern, or whether it is an inflated bubble that must burst sooner or later, this is another matter. If people were to demand cash payment in irrefragable certainty for everything that they have taken hitherto as paper money on the credit of the bank of public opinion, is there money enough behind it all to stand so great a drain even on so great a reserve?

Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances. Even if they are unhappy - very unhappy - it is astonishing how easily they can be prevented from finding it out, or at any rate from attributing it to any other cause than their own sinfulness.

To be is to think and to be thinkable. To live is to continue thinking and to remember having done so.

Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know.

We shall never get people whose time is money to take much interest in atoms.

While the honour thou hast got Is spick and span new.

Youth is like spring, an over-praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Butler
Birth Date
1835
Death Date
1902
Bio

English Poet, Novelist, Scholar, Translator