Quotes by Samuel Butler

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Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
It is tact that is golden, not silence.
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 best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be, I bet that my Redeemer liveth.
It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy -- but he who has shown the better temper.
In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
God cannot alter the past, but historians can.
Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
Life is one long process of getting tired.
Loyalty is still the same, whether it win or lose the game; true as a dial to the sun, although it be not shined upon.
Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderated use rather than total abstinence.
One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.
For every why he had a wherefore.
If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.
Silence is not always tact, but it is tact that is golden, not silence.
Lying has a kind of respect and reverence with it. We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him.
Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.
From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
Neither have they hearts to stay, nor wit enough to run away.
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
The public do not know enough to be experts, but know enough to decide between them.
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.
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.
The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.
Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
The only living works are those which have drained much of the author's own life into them.
To live is like to love-all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.
Life is like playing the violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Logic is like the sword -- those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.
All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.
An empty house is like a stray dog or a body from which life has departed.
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.
A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage -- but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.
Eating is touch carried to the bitter end.
If life must not be taken too seriously -- then so neither must death.
Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.
People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.
Union may be strength, but it is mere blind brute strength unless wisely directed.
It is immoral to get drunk because the headache comes after the drinking, but if the headache came first and the drunkenness afterwards, it would be moral to get drunk.
When the water of a place is bad it is safest to drink none that has not been filtered through either the berry of a grape, or else a tub of malt. These are the most reliable filters yet invented.
Though wisdom cannot be gotten for gold, still less can be gotten without it.
The function of vice is to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.
The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.
A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.
For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.
There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.
Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism.
The money men make lives after them.
The want of money is the root of all evil.
Compound for sins they are inclined to by damning those they have no mind to.