Josh Billings Quotations

Josh Billings

A dog is the only thing that loves you more than you love yourself.

Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give but dreadful uneasy to take.

A man running for office puts me in mind of a dog that's lost -- he smells everybody he meets, and wags himself all over.

A slander is like a hornet; if you can't kill it dead the first time, better not strike at it.

As long as we are lucky we attribute it to your smartness; our bad luck we give the gods credit for.

As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.

Better make a weak man your enemy than your friend.

Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.

Confess your sins to the Lord and you will be forgiven; confess them to man and you will be laughed at.

Experience is a school where a man learns what a big fool he has been.

Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt of, not swallowed.

If a man is right, he can't be too radical; if he is wrong, he can't be too conservative.

I have found a great many things in this world that were free -- free to get into, but like a rat trap, not exactly free to get out of.

I never question a success, any more than I do the right of a bulldog to lie in his own gateway.

It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so.

It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those that we intend to commit.

It is the little bits of things that fret and worry us; we can dodge an elephant, but we can't dodge a fly.

It is true that wealth won't make a man virtuous, but I notice there ain't anybody who wants to be poor just for the purpose of being good.

It's a wise man who profits by his own experience, but it's a good deal wiser man who lets the rattlesnake bite the other fellow.

It's not only the most difficult thing to know one's self, but the most inconvenient.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so.

Marrying for love may be a bit risky, but it is so honest that God can't help but smile on it.

Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.

Most people repent their sins by thanking God they ain't so wicked as their neighbors.

My advice to those who are about to begin, in earnest, the journey of life, is to take their heart in one hand and a club in the other.

Nature is a kind mother. She couldn't well afford to make us perfect, so she made us blind to our failings.

One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness; a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs.

Pity costs nothing, and it ain't worth nothing.

Silence is golden, but I must say that some of the most discreet and dignified fools that I have ever met have been those who never ventured an opinion on any subject.

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.

The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.

The less we know the more we suspect.

The more humble a man is before God the more he will be exalted; the more humble he is before man, the more he will get rode roughshod.

There are people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying.

There is gravity in wisdom, but no particular wisdom in gravity.

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

There is only one good substitute for the endearments of a sister, and that is the endearments of some other fellow's sister.

There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.

There's lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it.

The thinner the ice, the more anxious is everyone to see whether it will bear.

The trouble ain't that people are ignorant: it's that they know so much that ain't so.

The truly innocent are those who not only are guiltless themselves, but who think others are.

The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease.

The wicked work harder to reach hell than the righteous to reach heaven.

Threescore years and ten is enough; if a man can't suffer all the misery he wants in that time, he must be numb.

Time is like money, the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go.

To be a big man among big men, is what proves a man's character -- to be a bullfrog among tadpoles don't amount to much.

What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? I suppose this depends somewhat upon the size of the soul. I think there are cases where the trade would do.

When we are young, we change our opinions too often, when we are old, too seldom.

Wisdom has never made a bigot, but learning has.