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Samuel Butler Quotes


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People say that there are neither dragons to be killed nor distressed maidens to be rescued nowadays. I do not know, but I think I have dropped across one or two, nor do I feel sure whether the most mortal wounds have been inflicted by the dragons or by myself.
 

Priests are not men of the world; it is not intended that they should be; and a University training is the one best adapted to prevent their becoming so.
[Adapted]
 

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
 

Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime.
 

Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden, not silence.
 

Sin is like a mountain with two aspects according to whether it is viewed before or after it has been reached: yet both aspects are real.
 

Sketching from nature is very like trying to put a pinch of salt on her tail. And yet many manage to do it very nicely.
 

Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in continual fear lest she should catch cold on over-exposure.
 

Still his tongue ran on; the less weight it bore with greater ease; and with its everlasting clack, set all men's ears upon the rack.
[Loquacity]
 

Surely the glory of finally getting rid of and burying a long and troublesome matter should be as great as that of making an important discovery. The trouble is that the coverer is like Samson who perished in the wreck of what he had destroyed; if he gets rid of a thing effectually he gets rid of himself too.
 

Taking numbers into account, I should think more mental suffering had been undergone in the streets leading from St George's, Hanover Square, than in the condemned cells of Newgate.
 

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

The Ancient Mariner would not have taken so well if it had been called The Old Sailor.
 

The Athanasian Creed is to me light and intelligible reading in comparison with much that now passes for science.
 

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
 

The Bible may be the truth, but it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
 

The composer is seldom a great theorist; the theorist is never a great composer. Each is equally fatal to and essential in the other.
 

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

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

The evil that men do lives after them. Yes, and a good deal of the evil that they never did as well.
 


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