Samuel Butler

Samuel
Butler
1835
1902

English Poet, Novelist, Scholar, Translator

Author Quotes

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.

To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.

Very useless things we neglect, till they become old and useless enough to be put in Museums: and so very important things we study till, when they become important enough, we ignore them -- and rightly.

We take it that when the state of things shall have arrived which we have been above attempting to describe, man will have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are to man. He will continue to exist, nay even to improve, and will be probably better off in his state of domestication under the beneficent rule of the machines than he is in his present wild state. We treat our horses, dogs, cattle and sheep, on the whole, with great kindness, we give them whatever experience teaches us to be best for them, and there can be no doubt that our use of meat has added to the happiness of the lower animals far more than it has detracted from it; in like manner it is reasonable to suppose that the machines will treat us kindly, for their existence is as dependent upon ours as ours is upon the lower animals.

Who thought he 'd won The field as certain as a gun.

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

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.

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

English Poet, Novelist, Scholar, Translator