Samuel Butler

(1612 - 1680 / England)

Samuel Butler Quotes

  • ''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 (1835-1902), British author. The Way of All Flesh, ch. 75 (1903).
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  • ''Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime. A man at five and thirty should no more regret not having had a happier childhood than he should regret not having been born a prince of the blood.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 24, p. 91, Houghton Mifflin (1964).
  • ''From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 250 (1951).
  • ''Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 6, p. 25, Houghton Mifflin (1964).
  • ''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 (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1951).
  • ''The old saying of Buffon's that style is the man himself is as near the truth as we can get—but then most men mistake grammar for style, as they mistake correct spelling for words or schooling for education.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903; this remark deleted from first publication by Butler's literary executor, R.A. Streatfield. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 2, p. 7, Houghton Mifflin (1964).
  • ''Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1951).
  • ''A clergyman, again, can hardly ever allow himself to look facts fairly in the face. It is his profession to support one side; it is impossible, therefore, for him to make an unbiased examination of the other.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 26, p. 96, Houghton Mifflin (1964).
  • ''It is not nice to be wedded to anything—not even to a theory.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 116, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
  • ''Theorists may say what they like about a man's children being a continuation of his own identity, but it will generally be found that those who talk in this way have no children of their own. Practical family men know better.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 20, p. 77, Houghton Mifflin (1964).

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Best Poem of Samuel Butler

The Metaphysical Sectarian

HE was in Logick a great Critick,
Profoundly skill'd in Analytick.
He could distinguish, and divide
A Hair 'twixt South and South-West side:
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute.
He'd undertake to prove by force
Of Argument, a Man's no Horse.
He'd prove a Buzard is no Fowl,
And that a Lord may be an Owl;
A Calf an Alderman, a Goose a Justice,
And Rooks Committee-men and Trustees.
He'd run in Debt by Disputation,
And pay with Ratiocination.
All this by Syllogism, true
In Mood and Figure, he would ...

Read the full of The Metaphysical Sectarian

Sonnets On Miss Savage

i
She was too kind, wooed too persistently,
Wrote moving letters to me day by day;
The more she wrote, the more unmoved was I,
The more she gave, the less could I repay.
Therefore I grieve, not that I was not loved,
But that, being loved, I could not love again.
I liked, but like and love are far removed;
Hard though I tried to love I tried in vain.

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