Jonathan Swift Quotations

Jonathan Swift

Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices: so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.

Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation, as in books it is generally the worst sort of reading.

As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. (or Alexander Pope)

Brisk talkers are usually slow thinkers. There is, indeed, no wild beast more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate. If you are civil to the voluble, they will abuse your patience; if brusque, your character.

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

Complaint is the largest tribute Heaven receives.

He was a bold man that first eat on oyster.

Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.

I reckon no man is thoroughly miserable until he be condemned to live in Ireland.

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies but which let wasps and hornets break through.

Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.

There are few wild beasts more to be dreaded than a talking man having nothing to say.

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.

When a true genius appears in this world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.