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Samuel Butler quotes (showing 1-30 of 191)

“Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule.”
Samuel Butler
“All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income”
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
“The greatest 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
tags: dogs
“Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.”
Samuel Butler, The Note Books of Samuel Butler
“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”
Samuel Butler
“Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.”
Samuel Butler, The Note Books of Samuel Butler
“All animals except man know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.”
Samuel Butler
“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”
Samuel Butler
“Don't learn to do, but learn in doing.”
Samuel Butler
“Life is one long process of getting tired.”
Samuel Butler
tags: life
“Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.”
Samuel Butler
“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, The Note Books of Samuel Butler
“We all love best not those who offend us least, nor those who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.”
Samuel Butler
“Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime”
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
“Life is like playing the violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.”
Samuel Butler
“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
“Logic is like the sword--those who appeal to it shall perish by it.”
Samuel Butler
“To live is like to love--all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it”
Samuel Butler
“We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to them.”
Samuel Butler
“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”
Samuel Butler
“Silence is not always tact and 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
“They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, 'Can he name a kitten?”
Samuel Butler
“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.”
Samuel Butler
“A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.”
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
“[P]oetry resembles metaphysics: one does not mind one's own, but one does not like anyone else's.”
Samuel Butler
“I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.”
Samuel Butler
“Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently, and he lapsed ere long into an amiable indifferentism which to outward appearance differed but little from the indifferentism …”
Samuel Butler
“Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such. ”
Samuel Butler

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