Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (4 December 1835 – 18 June 1902) was an iconoclastic English author of a variety of works. Two of his most famous works are the Utopian satire Erewhon and the semi-autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously.

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

Our ideas are for the most part like bad sixpences and we spend our lives trying to pass them on one another.

Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise and tunes herself as it were a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing.

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

The sinews of art and literature like those of war are money.

A skilful leech is better far than half a hundred men of war.

We shall never get people whose time is money to take much interest in atoms.

The history of art is the history of revivals.

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

The want of money is the root of all evil.

When you've told someone that you've left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once.

People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good clever or amiable.

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.

Life is like music, it must be composed by ear feeling and instinct not by rule.

There is no bore like a clever bore.

They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say 'Can he name a kitten?'

The healthy stomach is nothing if it is not conservative. Few radicals have good digestions.

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.

The voice of the Lord is the voice of common sense which is shared by all that is.

The history of the world is the record of the weakness frailty and death of public opinion.

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