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Samuel Butler Quotes


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Italians, and perhaps Frenchmen, consider first whether they like or want to do a thing and then whether, on the whole, it will do them any harm. Englishmen, and perhaps Germans, consider first whether they ought to like a thing and often never reach the questions whether they do like it and whether it will hurt. There is much to be said for both systems, but I suppose it is best to combine them as far as possible.
 

Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.
 

Justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.
 

Let every man be true and every god a liar.
 

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.
 

Let us eat and drink neither forgetting death unduly nor remembering it. The Lord hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, etc., and the less we think about it the better.
 

Letters are like wine; if they are sound they ripen with keeping. A man should lay down letters as he does a cellar of wine.
 

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.
[Life]
 

Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.
 

Life is like playing a violin solo in public, and learning the instrument as one goes on.
[Decisions]
 

Life is not an exact science, it is an art.
 

Life is one long process of getting tired.
[Life]
 

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
[Decisions]
 

Life is the gathering of waves to a head, at death they break into a million fragments each one of which, however, is absorbed at once into the sea of life and helps to form a later generation which comes rolling on till it too breaks.
 

Logic is like the sword - those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.
 

Look before you leap for as you sow, ye are like to reap.
 

Loyalty is still the same, Whether it win or lose the game; True as a dial to the sun, Although it be not shined upon.
[Trust]
 

Lying has a kind of respect and reverence with it. We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him.
 

Man is God's highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.
 

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
[Hypocrisy]
 


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