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Samuel Butler Quotes


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All animals except man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
[Goals]
 

All eating is a kind of proselytising - a kind of dogmatising - a maintaining that the eater's way of looking at things is better than the eatee's.
 

All men can do great things, if they know what great things are.
 

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
 

All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.
[Philosophy]
 

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
[Inspirational]
 

All things are like exposed photographic plates that have no visible image on them till they have been developed.
 

All thinking is of disturbance, dynamical, a state of unrest tending towards equilibrium. It is all a mode of classifying and of criticising with a view of knowing whether it gives us, or is likely to give us, pleasure or no.
 

All truth is not to be told at all times.
 

Always eat grapes downwards - that is, always eat the best grape first; in this way there will be none better left on the bunch, and each grape will seem good down to the last.
 

An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
 

An artist's touches are sometimes no more articulate than the barking of a dog who would call attention to something without exactly knowing what. This is as it should be, and he is a great artist who can be depended on not to bark at nothing.
 

An empty house is like a stray dog or a body from which life has departed.
 

An energy is a soul - a something working in us.
 

An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better.
 

An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for when he is once possest with an error it is like a devil, only cast out with great difficulty. Whatsoever he lays hold on, like a drowning man, he never loses, though it do but help to sink him the sooner. His ignorance is abrupt and inaccessible, impregnable both by art and nature, and will hold out to the last, though it has nothing but rubbish to defend.
[Obstinacy]
 

And so there is no God but has been in the loins of past gods.
 

Animals and plants cannot understand our business, so we have denied that they can understand their own. What we call inorganic matter cannot understand the animals' and plants' business, we have therefore denied that it can understand anything whatever.
 

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
[Lying]
 

Argument is generally waste of time and trouble. It is better to present one's opinion and leave it to stick or no as it may happen. If sound, it will probably in the end stick, and the sticking is the main thing.
 


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