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Samuel Butler Quotes

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There is an eternal antagonism of interest between the individual and the world at large. The individual will not so much care how much he may suffer in this world provided he can live in men's good thoughts long after he has left it. The world at large does not so much care how much suffering the individual may either endure or cause in this life, provided he will take himself clean away out of men's thoughts, whether for good or ill, when he has left it.

There is no bore like a clever bore.

There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.

There is no true gracefulness which is not epitomized goodness.

There is nothing less powerful than knowledge unattached, and incapable of application. That is why what little knowledge I have has done myself personally so much harm. I do not know much, but if I knew a good deal less than that little I should be far more powerful.

There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.

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

There is one thing certain, namely, that we can have nothing certain; therefore it is not certain that we can have nothing certain.

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

They [my thoughts] are like persons met upon a journey; I think them very agreeable at first but soon find, as a rule, that I am tired of them.

They say the test of this [literary power] is whether a man can write an inscription. I say "Can he name a kitten?" And by this test I am condemned, for I cannot.

Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. I you look at it to admire it, you are lost.

Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.

Though analogy is often misleading, it is the least misleading thing we have.

Thought pure and simple is as near to God as we can get; it is through this that we are linked with God.

Time is the only true purgatory.

To be is to think and to be thinkable. To live is to continue thinking and to remember having done so.

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

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

To give pain is the tyranny; to make happy, the true empire of beauty.

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