Samuel Butler Quotes

- Notable Samuel Butler Quotes Index -

Born: December 4, 1835, Langar, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Birth Country: England
Died: London, England, June 18, 1902
Occupation: Author

1.
A drunkard would not give money to sober people. He said they would only eat it, and buy clothes and send their children to school with it.
- Samuel Butler

2.
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
- Samuel Butler

3.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
- Samuel Butler

4.
A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage - but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
- Samuel Butler

5.
A physician's physiology has much the same relation to his power of healing as a cleric's divinity has to his power of influencing conduct.
- Samuel Butler

6.
A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those worth committing.
- Samuel Butler

7.
A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.
- Samuel Butler

8.
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
- Samuel Butler

9.
All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.
- Samuel Butler

10.
All truth is not to be told at all times.
- Samuel Butler

11.
An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
- Samuel Butler

12.
And so there is no God but has been in the loins of past gods.
- Samuel Butler

13.
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
- Samuel Butler

14.
Brigands demand your money or your life women require both.
- Samuel Butler

15.
Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.
- Samuel Butler

16.
Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
- Samuel Butler

17.
Faith - you can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.
- Samuel Butler

18.
Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
- Samuel Butler

19.
For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
- Samuel Butler

20.
Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
- Samuel Butler

21.
From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
- Samuel Butler

22.
God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.
- Samuel Butler

23.
God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.
- Samuel Butler

24.
God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
- Samuel Butler

25.
God was satisfied with his own work, and that is fatal.
- Samuel Butler

26.
He has spent his life best who has enjoyed it most. God will take care that we do not enjoy it any more than is good for us.
- Samuel Butler

27.
Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.
- Samuel Butler

28.
If God wants us to do a thing, he should make his wishes sufficiently clear. Sensible people will wait till he has done this before paying much attention to him.
- Samuel Butler

29.
If I die prematurely I shall be saved from being bored to death at my own success.
- Samuel Butler

30.
If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.
- Samuel Butler

31.
In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
- Samuel Butler

32.
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

33.
It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents.
- Samuel Butler

34.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
- Samuel Butler

35.
Let every man be true and every god a liar.
- Samuel Butler

36.
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.
- Samuel Butler

37.
Life is like music it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.
- Samuel Butler

38.
Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
- Samuel Butler

39.
Life is not an exact science, it is an art.
- Samuel Butler

40.
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
- Samuel Butler

41.
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.
- Samuel Butler

42.
Man is God's highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.
- Samuel Butler

43.
Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler

44.
Marriage is distinctly and repeatedly excluded from heaven. Is this because it is thought likely to mar the general felicity?
- Samuel Butler

45.
Money is the last enemy that shall never be subdued. While there is flesh there is money or the want of money, but money is always on the brain so long as there is a brain in reasonable order.
- Samuel Butler

46.
Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it.
- Samuel Butler

47.
Mr. Tennyson has said that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of, but he wisely refrains from saying whether they are good or bad things.
- Samuel Butler

48.
Parents are the last people on earth who ought to have children.
- Samuel Butler

49.
People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.
- Samuel Butler

50.
Priests are not men of the world it is not intended that they should be and a University training is the one best adapted to prevent their becoming so.
- Samuel Butler

51.
Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
- Samuel Butler

52.
Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in continual fear lest she should catch a cold on overexposure.
- Samuel Butler

53.
The Athanasian Creed is to me light and intelligible reading in comparison with much that now passes for science.
- Samuel Butler

54.
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
- Samuel Butler

55.
The Bible may be the truth, but it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
- Samuel Butler

56.
The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
- Samuel Butler

57.
The history of art is the history of revivals.
- Samuel Butler

58.
The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty and death of public opinion.
- Samuel Butler

59.
The seven deadly sins: Want of money, bad health, bad temper, chastity, family ties, knowing that you know things, and believing in the Christian religion.
- Samuel Butler

60.
The sinews of art and literature, like those of war, are money.
- Samuel Butler

61.
The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.
- Samuel Butler

62.
The want of money is the root of all evil.
- Samuel Butler

63.
The worst thing that can happen to a man is to lose his money, the next worst his health, the next worst his reputation.
- Samuel Butler

64.
The youth of an art is, like the youth of anything else, its most interesting period. When it has come to the knowledge of good and evil it is stronger, but we care less about it.
- Samuel Butler

65.
Theist and atheist: the fight between them is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name.
- Samuel Butler

66.
There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.
- Samuel Butler

67.
There is nothing which at once affects a man so much and so little as his own death.
- Samuel Butler

68.
They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, 'Can he name a kitten?'
- Samuel Butler

69.
Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. I you look at it to admire it, you are lost.
- Samuel Butler

70.
Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.
- Samuel Butler

71.
To give pain is the tyranny to make happy, the true empire of beauty.
- Samuel Butler

72.
To himself everyone is immortal he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.
- Samuel Butler

73.
To know God better is only to realize how impossible it is that we should ever know him at all. I know not which is more childish to deny him, or define him.
- Samuel Butler

74.
Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know.
- Samuel Butler

75.
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

76.
We shall never get people whose time is money to take much interest in atoms.
- Samuel Butler

77.
What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be, I bet that my Redeemer liveth.
- Samuel Butler

78.
Women can stand a beating except when it is with their own weapons.
- Samuel Butler

79.
Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.
- Samuel Butler

80.
Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.
- Samuel Butler

81.
You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.
- Samuel Butler

Quotes by Samuel Butler

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