Samuel Butler Quotations

Samuel Butler

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it -- and they do enjoy it as much as man and other circumstances will allow.

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

Everyone should keep a mental wastepaper basket, and the older he grows, the more things will he promptly consign to it.

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of always being right.

He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still.

"Home, Sweet Home" must surely have been written by a bachelor.

If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.

I heard a man say that brigands demand your money or your life, whereas women require both.

In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved.

I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.

It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something.

It has been said that although God cannot alter the past, historians can -- it is perhaps because they can be useful to Him in this respect that He tolerates their existence.

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.

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

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

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden, not silence.

Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in continual fear lest she should catch a cold on overexposure.

The devil, when he dresses himself in angel's cloths, can only be detected by experts of exceptional skill, and so often does he attempt this disguise that it is hardly safe to be seen talking to an angel at all.

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

The hen is an egg's way of producing another egg.

The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken seriously.

The public do not know enough to be experts, yet know enough to decide between them.

There should be some schools called deformatories, to which people are sent if they are too good to be practical.

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

To live is to love; all reason is against it; instinct is for it.