Samuel Butler Quotes

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
The three most important things a man has are briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.
He has spent his life best who has enjoyed it most. God will take care that we do not enjoy it any more than is good for us.
A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.
To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious.
Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.
Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget.
I believe that more unhappiness comes from this source than from any other--I mean from the attempt to prolong family connections unduly and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.
Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.

Back to main quotes

If you have quotation to add, please send it to me.