Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (4 December 1835 – 18 June 1902) was an iconoclastic English author of a variety of works. Two of his most famous works are the Utopian satire Erewhon and the semi-autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously.

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For truth is precious and divine too rich a pearl for carnal swine.

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

It is tact that is golden not silence.

When you have told anyone you have left him a legacy the only decent thing to do is die at once.

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

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.

Oaths are but words and words are but wind.

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

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.

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

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.

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

All truth is not to be told at all times.

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

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.

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

If people would dare to speak to one another unreservedly there would be a good deal less sorrow in the world a hundred years hence.

There are more fools than knaves in the world else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.

Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances.

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

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