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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To die is but to leave off dying and do the thing once for all.

Silence and tact may or may not be the same thing.

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

Christ was only crucified once and for a few hours. Think of the hundreds of thousands whom Christ has been crucifying in a quiet way ever since.

It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.

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

I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.

Brigands demand your money or your life, women require both.

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.

You can do very little with faith but you can do nothing without it.

Our minds want clothes as much as our bodies.

In the midst of vice we are in virtue and vice versa.

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

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

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

Christ: I dislike him very much. Still I can stand him. What I cannot stand is the wretched band of people whose profession is to hoodwink us about him.

People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.

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.

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.

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