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Samuel Butler Quotes


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To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.
[Death]
 

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.
 

To live is like to love - all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.
[Instincts]
 

To love God is to have good health, good looks, good sense, experience, a kindly nature and a fair balance of cash in hand.
 

To me it seems that those who are happy in this world are better and more lovable people than those who are not.
 

To put one's trust in God is only a longer way of saying that one will chance it.
[Trust]
 

To try to live in posterity is to be like an actor who leaps over the footlights and talks to the orchestra.
 

Truth consists not in never lying but in knowing when to lie and when not to do so.
 

Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know.
 

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.
 

We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.
 

We are not won by arguments that we can analyse but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.
 

We are so far identical with our ancestors and our contemporaries that it is very rarely we can see anything that they do not see. It is not unjust that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the children, for the children committed the sins when in the persons of their fathers.
 

We can no longer separate things as we once could: everything tends towards unity; one thing, one action, in one place, at one time. On the other hand, we can no longer unify things as we once could; we are driven to ultimate atoms, each one of which is an individuality. So that we have an infinite multitude of things doing an infinite multitude of actions in infinite time and space; and yet they are not many things, but one thing.
 

We can see nothing face to face; our utmost seeing is but a fumbling of blind finger-ends in an overcrowded pocket.
 

We do not know what death is. If we know so little about life which we have experienced, how shall be know about death which we have not - and in the nature of things never can?
 

We grow weary of those things (and perhaps soonest) which we most desire.
[Success]
 

We know so well what we are doing ourselves and why we do it, do we not? I fancy that there is some truth in the view which is being put forward nowadays, that 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.
 

We meet people every day whose bodies are evidently those of men and women long dead, but whose appearance we know through their portraits.
 

We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him.
 


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