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They say the test of literary power is whether a man
by Samuel Butler

They say the test of literary power is whether a man
can write an inscription.
I say, 'Can he name a kitten?'
- Samuel Butler

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
- Samuel Butler

Life is like music; it must be composed by ear,
feeling, and instinct, not by rule.
- Samuel Butler

The history of art is the history of revivals.
- Samuel Butler

 

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

Parents are the last people on earth who ought to have children.
- Samuel Butler

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

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God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
- Samuel Butler

The most important service rendered
by the press and the magazines
is that of educating people
to approach printed matter with distrust.
- Samuel Butler

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die,
but he can never know that he is dead.
- Samuel Butler

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning
the instrument as one goes on.
- Samuel Butler

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly
terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler

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

In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
- Samuel Butler

Women can stand a beating except when it is with their own weapons.
- Samuel Butler

Morality is the custom of one's country and the current feeling of one's peers.
- Samuel Butler

Oaths are but words, and words are but wind.
- Samuel Butler

There is no true gracefulness which is not epitomized goodness.
- Samuel Butler

The only living works are those which have drained
much of the author's own life into them.
- Samuel Butler

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
- Samuel Butler

Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.
- Samuel Butler

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

The sinews of art and literature, like those of war,
are money.
- Samuel Butler

Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying
or adapting themselves to circumstances.
- Samuel Butler

Logic is like the sword - those who appeal to it,
shall perish by it.
- Samuel Butler

Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.
- Samuel Butler

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.
- Samuel Butler

What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be,
I bet that my Redeemer liveth.
- Samuel Butler

Let every man be true and every god a liar.
- Samuel Butler

The dead should be judged like criminals,
impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of the doubt.
- Samuel Butler

Men are seldom more commonplace than on supreme occasions.
- Samuel Butler

God and the Devil are an effort after specialization
and the division of labor.
- Samuel Butler

Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in
continual fear lest she should catch a cold on overexposure.
- Samuel Butler

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

A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.
- Samuel Butler

Our ideas are for the most part like bad sixpences,
and we spend our lives trying to pass them on one another.
- Samuel Butler

Silence and tact may or may not be the same thing.
- Samuel Butler

People care more about being thought to have taste
than about being thought either good,
clever or amiable.
- Samuel Butler

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
- Samuel Butler

The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.
- Samuel Butler

Men should not try to overstrain their goodness more than any other faculty,
bodily or mental.
- Samuel Butler

It is tact that is golden, not silence.
- Samuel Butler

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

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,
but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
- Samuel Butler

To live is like to love - all reason is against it,
and all healthy instinct for it.
- Samuel Butler

Look before you leap for as you sow,
ye are like to reap.
- Samuel Butler

People in general are equally horrified at hearing
the Christian religion doubted,
and at seeing it practiced.
- Samuel Butler

There is such a thing as doing good that evil may come.
- Samuel Butler

Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.
- Samuel Butler

Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.
- Samuel Butler

There is nothing which at once affects a man so much
and so little as his own death.
- Samuel Butler

Theist and atheist: the fight between them is as to
whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name.
- Samuel Butler

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.
- Samuel Butler

The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating
the young men to be able to teach them anything.
- Samuel Butler

The voice of the Lord is the voice of common sense,
which is shared by all that is.
- Samuel Butler

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel
and complete a character.
- Samuel Butler

The healthy stomach is nothing if it is not conservative.
Few radicals have good digestions.
- Samuel Butler

Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.
- Samuel Butler

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

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
- Samuel Butler

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.
- Samuel Butler

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.
- Samuel Butler

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

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.
- Samuel Butler

In old times people used to try and square the circle;
now they try and devise schemes for satisfying the Irish nation.
- Samuel Butler

Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.
- Samuel Butler

The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is
that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.
- Samuel Butler

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

People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.
- Samuel Butler

A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold,
be alloyed with some commoner, but more durable alloy.
- Samuel Butler

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.
- Samuel Butler


Quotes and Sayings

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