Samuel Butler (novelist) quotes

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#27381 Samuel Butler (novelist)

The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about self
#27382 Samuel Butler (novelist)

"Words, words, words," he writes, "are the stumbling-blocks in the way of truth. Until you think of things as they are, and not of the words that misrepresent them, you cannot think rightly. Words produce the appearance of hard and fast lines where there are none. Words divide; thus we call this a man, that an ape, that a monkey, while they are all only differentiations of the same thing. To think of a thing they must be got rid of: they are the clothes that thoughts wear—only the clothes. I say this over and over again, for there is nothing of more importance. Other men's words will stop you at the beginning of an investigation. A man may play with words all his life, arranging them and rearranging them like dominoes. If I could think to you without words you would understand me better." .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about life
#27383 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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

Samuel Butler (novelist)
#27384 Samuel Butler (novelist)

Stowed away in a Montreal lumber room The Discobolus standeth and turneth his face to the wall; Dusty, cobweb-covered, maimed and set at naught, Beauty crieth in an attic and no man regardeth: O God! O Montreal! .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about man
#27385 Samuel Butler (novelist)

The Discobolus is put here because he is vulgar — He has neither vest nor pants with which to cover his limbs. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about wit
#27386 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about men
#27387 Samuel Butler (novelist)

God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about reason
#27388 Samuel Butler (novelist)

It is the manner of gods and prophets to begin: "Thou shalt have none other God or Prophet but me." If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God. Thou shalt worship any d_____d thing thou likest except me." This should be my first and great commandment, and my second should be like unto it. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about god
#27389 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about people
#27390 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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 (novelist) Quotes about business
#27391 Samuel Butler (novelist)

Sing, O goddess, the anger ofson of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about god
#27392 Samuel Butler (novelist)

To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about work
#27393 Samuel Butler (novelist)

The devil tempted Christ; yes, but it was Christ who tempted the devil to tempt him. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about evil
#27394 Samuel Butler (novelist)

First published in Universal Review (December 1890) .

Samuel Butler (novelist)
#27396 Samuel Butler (novelist)

We can see nothing face to face; our utmost seeing is but a fumbling of blind finger-ends in an overcrowded pocket. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about end
#27397 Samuel Butler (novelist)

The limits of the body seem well defined enough as definitions go, but definitions seldom go far. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about body
#27398 Samuel Butler (novelist)

We meet people every day whose bodies are evidently those of men and women long dead, but whose appearance we know through their portraits. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about women
#27399 Samuel Butler (novelist)

I do not like books. I believe I have the smallest library of any literary man in London, and I have no wish to increase it. I keep my books at the British Museum and at Mudie's, and it makes me very angry if anyone gives me one for my private library. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about books
#27400 Samuel Butler (novelist)

If a man would get hold of the public era, he must pay, marry, or fight. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about man
#27401 Samuel Butler (novelist)

I should not advise anyone with ordinary independence of mind to attempt the public ear unless he is confident that he can out-lung and out-last his own generation; for if he has any force, people will and ought to be on their guard against him, inasmuch as there is no knowing where he may not take them. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about people
#27402 Samuel Butler (novelist)

We do not know what death is. If we know so little about life which we have experienced, how shall be know about death which we have not — and in the nature of things never can? .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about life
#27403 Samuel Butler (novelist)

All we know is, that even the humblest dead may live along after all trace of the body has disappeared; we see them doing it in the bodies and memories of these that come after them; and not a few live so much longer and more effectually than is desirable, that it has been necessary to get rid of them by Act of Parliament. It is love that alone gives life, and the truest life is that which we live not in ourselves but vicariously in others, and with which we have no concern. Our concern is so to order ourselves that we may be of the number of them that enter into life — although we know it not. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about love
#27404 Samuel Butler (novelist)

Slugs have ridden their contempt for defensive armour as much to death as the turtles their pursuit of it. They have hardly more than skin enough to hold themselves together; they court death every time they cross the road. Yet death comes not to them more than to the turtle, whose defences are so great that there is little left inside to be defended. Moreover, the slugs fare best in the long run, for turtles are dying out, while slugs are not, and there must be millions of slugs all over the world over for every single turtle. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about death
#27405 Samuel Butler (novelist)

Propositions prey upon and are grounded upon one another just like living forms. They support one another as plants and animals do; they are based ultimately on credit, or faith, rather than the cash of irrefragable conviction. The whole universe is carried on on the credit system, and if the mutual confidence on which it is based were to collapse, it must itself collapse immediately. Just or unjust, it lives by faith; it is based on vague and impalpable opinion that by some inscrutable process passes into will and action, and is made manifest in matter and in flesh; it is meteoric — suspended in mid-air; it is the baseless fabric of a vision to vast, so vivid, and so gorgeous that no base can seem more broad than such stupendous baselessness, and yet any man can bring it about his ears by being over-curious; when faith fails, a system based on faith fails also. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about faith
#27406 Samuel Butler (novelist)

Whether the universe is really a paying concern, or whether it is an inflated bubble that must burst sooner or later, this is another matter. If people were to demand cash payment in irrefragable certainty for everything that they have taken hitherto as paper money on the credit of the bank of public opinion, is there money enough behind it all to stand so great a drain even on so great a reserve? .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about people
#27407 Samuel Butler (novelist)

By a merciful dispensation of Providence university training is almost as costly as it is unprofitable. The majority will thus be always unable to afford it, and will base their opinions on mother wit and current opinion rather than on demonstration. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about mother
#27408 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about art
#27409 Samuel Butler (novelist)

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

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about art
#27410 Samuel Butler (novelist)

We play out our days as we play out cards, taking them as they come, not knowing what they will be, hoping for a lucky card and sometimes getting one, often getting just the wrong one. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about time
#27411 Samuel Butler (novelist)

There is an eternal antagonism of interest between the individual and the world at large. The individual will not so much care how much he may suffer in this world provided he can live in men’s good thoughts long after he has left it. The world at large does not so much care how much suffering the individual may either endure or cause in this life, provided he will take himself clean away out of men’s thoughts, whether for good or ill, when he has left it. .

Samuel Butler (novelist) Quotes about life

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