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Samuel Butler Quotes


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In the midst of vice we are in virtue, and vice versa.
 

Inspiration is never genuine if it is known as inspiration at the time. True inspiration always steals on a person; its importance not being fully recognized for some time.
 

Intellectual over-indulgence is the most gratuitous and disgraceful form which excess can take, nor is there any the consequences of which are more disastrous.
 

Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.
 

Is there any religion whose followers can be pointed to as distinctly more amiable and trustworthy than those of any other? If so, this should be enough. I find the nicest and best people generally profess no religion at all, but are ready to like the best men of all religions.
 

It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something.
[Hatred]
 

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.
 

It has been said that though God cannot alter the past, historians can - it is perhaps because they can be useful to Him in this respect that He tolerates their existence.
 

It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents.
 

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
 

It is curious that money, which is the most valuable thing in life, exceptis excipiendis, should be the most fatal corrupter of music, literature, painting and all the arts. As soon as any art is pursued with a view to money, then farewell, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, all hope of genuine good work.
 

It is far safer to know too little than too much. People will condemn the one, though they will resent being called upon to exert themselves to follow the other.
 

It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held, and not in the dogma or want of dogma, that the danger lies.
 

It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy - but he who has shown the better temper.
 

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.
 

It is seldom very hard to do one's duty when one knows what it is, but it is often exceedingly difficult to find this out.
 

It is tact that is golden, not silence.
 

It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.
[Vice]
 

It is with philosophy as with just intonation on a piano, if you get everything quite straight and on all fours in one department, in perfect tune, it is delightful so long as you keep well in the middle of the key; but as soon as you modulate you find the new key is out of tune and the more remotely you modulate the more out of tune you get.
 

It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
 


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