Robert Burton


English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University

Author Quotes

The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will power to develop themselves.

The fear of some divine and supreme powers keeps men in obedience.

The falling out of lovers is the renewing of love.

The fear of death is worse than death.

The Devil himself, which is the author of confusion and lies.

The devil is the author of confusion.

The band of conjugal love is adamantine.

The Chinese say that we Europeans have one eye, they themselves two, all the world else is blinde.

Temperance is a bridle of gold; he who uses it rightly, is more like a god than a man.

That which is a law today is none tomorrow.

Speak with contempt of no man. Every one hath a tender sense of reputation. And every man hath a sting, which he may, if provoked too far, dart out at one time or other.

Sports and gaming, whether pursued from a desire of gain or love of pleasure, are as ruinous to the temper and disposition of the party addicted to them, as they are to his fame and fortune.

Set a beggar on horseback, and he will ride a gallop. [Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll outride the Devil.]

Sickness is the mother of modesty, as it puts us in mind of our mortality, and while we drive on heedlessly in the full career of worldly pomp and jollity, kindly pulls us by the ear, and brings us to a sense of our duty.

So good things may be abused, and that which was first invented to refresh men's weary spirits.

See one promontory (said Socrates of old) one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.

Restore a man to his health, his purse lies open to thee.

Put his shoulder to the wheel.

Properly conducted scientific studies . . . give us a pretty good idea of when something is likely to be correct. To me, pretty good is a linguistic statistic that falls somewhere in between more likely than not and beyond a reasonable doubt, et avoides the pitfalls arising from the belief in complete objectivity.

Penny wise, pound foolish.

Perigrination charms our senses with such unspeakable and sweet variety that some count him that never traveled--a kind of prisoner, and pity his case: that, from his cradle to his old age, he beholds the same still, still,--still, the same, the same.

Out of too much learning become mad.

Our wrangling lawyers . . . are so litigious and busy here on earth, that I think they will plead their clients' causes hereafter, some of them in hell.

Our writings are so many dishes, our readers guests, our books like beauty; that which one admires another rejects; so are we approved as men's fancies are inclined.

One was never married and that's his hell; another is, and that's his plague.

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English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University