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Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler was an iconoclastic Victorian-era English author who published a variety of works. Two of his most famous pieces are the Utopian satire Erewhon and a semi-autobiographical novel published posthumously, The Way of All Flesh. He is also known for examining Christian orthodoxy, substantive studies of evolutionary thought, studies of Italian art, and works of literary history and criticism. Butler also made prose translations of the Iliad and Odyssey which remain in use to this day. (1835 – 1902)

Quotes

A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
Samuel Butler

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
Samuel Butler

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

All truth is not to be told at all times.
Samuel Butler

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

Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.
Samuel Butler

Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
Samuel Butler

Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.
Samuel Butler

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

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
Samuel Butler

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
Samuel Butler

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

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

God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
Samuel Butler

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
Samuel Butler

If the headache would only precede the intoxication, alcoholism would be a virtue.
Samuel Butler

If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.
Samuel Butler

If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.
Samuel Butler

In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
Samuel Butler

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

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

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.
Samuel Butler

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.
Samuel Butler

It is tact that is golden, not silence.
Samuel Butler

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

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

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Samuel Butler

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Samuel Butler

Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it
Samuel Butler

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument.
Samuel Butler

No mistake is more common and more fatuous than appealing to logic in cases which are beyond her jurisdiction.
Samuel Butler

One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.
Samuel Butler

Opinions have vested interests just as men have.
Samuel Butler

People are lucky and unlucky not according to what they get absolutely, but according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.
Samuel Butler

People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever or amiable.
Samuel Butler

The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.
Samuel Butler

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Samuel Butler

The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.
Samuel Butler

There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.
Samuel Butler

Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. If you look at it to admire it, you are lost.
Samuel Butler

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.
Samuel Butler

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

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