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Samuel Butler Quotes


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Everything matters more than we think it does, and, at the same time, nothing matters so much as we think it does. The merest spark may set all Europe in a blaze, but though all Europe be set in a blaze twenty times over, the world will wag itself right again.
 

Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.
 

Faith - you can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.
 

Faith is a kind of betting, or speculation.
 

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
 

Feeling is an art and, like any other art, can be acquired by taking pains.
 

Fools for arguments use wagers.
 

For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
 

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
 

From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
 

Genius...has been defined as a supreme capacity for taking trouble...It might be more fitly described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds and keeping them therein so long as the genius remains.
 

God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.
 

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.
 

God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
[Alter]
 

God does not intend people, and does not like people, to be too good. He likes them neither too good nor too bad, but a little too bad is more venial with him than a little too good.
 

God was satisfied with his own work, and that is fatal.
 

God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion.
 

Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.
 

Handel and Shakespeare have left us the best that any have left us; yet, in spite of this, how much of their lives was wasted.
 

He [the Philosopher] should have made many mistakes and been saved often by the skin of his teeth, for the skin of one's teeth is the most teaching thing about one. He should have been, or at any rate believed himself, a great fool and a great criminal. He should have cut himself adrift from society, and yet not be without society.
 


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