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Samuel Butler Quotes

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Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.

Nothing is so cruel as to try and force a man beyond his natural pace.

Nothing will ever die so long as it knows what to do under the circumstances, in other words so long as it knows its business.

Oaths are but words, and words are but wind.

One can bring no greater reproach against a man than to say that he does not set sufficient value upon pleasure, and there is no greater sign of a fool than the thinking that he can tell at once and easily what it is that pleases him. To know this is not easy, and how to extend our knowledge of it is the highest and the most neglected of all arts and branches of education.

One great reason why clergymen's households are generally unhappy is because the clergyman is so much at home or close about the house.

One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.

One reason why it is as well not to give very much detail is that, no matter how much is given, the eye will always want more; it will know very well that it is not being paid in full. On the other hand, no matter how little one gives, the eye will generally compromise by wanting only a little more. In either case the eye will want more, so one may as well stop sooner or later. Sensible painting, like sensible law, sensible writing, or sensible anything else, consists as much in knowing what to omit as what to insist upon.

Opinions have vested interests just as men have.

Our choice is apparently most free, and we are least obviously driven to determine our course, in those cases where the future is most obscure, that is, when the balance of advantage appears most doubtful.

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

Our latest moment is always our supreme moment. Five minutes delay in dinner now is more important than a great sorrow ten years gone.

Our minds want clothes as much as our bodies.

Our self-conceit sustains, and always must sustain us.
[Self Confidence]

Painters should remember that the eye, as a general rule, is a good, simple, credulous organ - very ready to take things on trust if it be told them with any confidence of assertion.

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

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

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.

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

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

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