Mathematical Knowledge adds a manly Vigour to the Mind, frees it from Prejudice, Credulity, and Superstition.

— John Arbuthnot

The most revealing John Arbuthnot quotes that are little-known but priceless

All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.


He that sows his grain upon marble will have many a hungry belly before his harvest.


All the politics in the world are nothing else but a kind of analysis of the quantity of probability in casual events, and a good politician signifies no more but one who is dexterous at such calculations.


What I have said may serve to recommend mathematics for acquiring a vigorous constitution of mind; for which purpose they are as useful as exercise is for procuring health and strength to the body.


The first Care in building of Cities, is to make them airy and well perflated;

infectious Distempers must necessarily be propagated amongst Mankind living close together.


It is surprising to see what superficial, inconsequential reasonings satisfy the most part of mankind. A piece of wit, a jest, a simile, or a quotation of an Author, passes for a mighty argument.... This weakness and effeminacy of mankind in being persuaded where they are delighted, have made them the sport of orators, poets, and men of wit.


Almighty Power, by whose most wise command, helpless, forlorn, uncertain, here I stand, take this faint glimmer of thyself away, or break into my soul with perfect day!


The Mathematics are Friends to Religion;

inasmuch as they charm the Passions, restrain the Impetuosity of Imagination, and purge the Mind from Error and Prejudice.


The dumpling-eaters are a race sprung partly from the old Epicurean and partly from the Peripatetic Sect; they were first brought into Britain by Julius Caesar; and finding it a Land of Plenty, they wisely resolved never to go home again.


To bliss unknown by lofty soul aspires, My lot unequal to my vast desires.


Hocus was an old cunning attorney. The words of consecration, "Hoc est corpus," were travestied into a nickname for jugglery, as "Hocus-pocus." - John Richard Green, A Short History of the English People, 1874. see Charles Macklin.


Truth can never be an enemy to true religion, which appears always to the best advantage when it is most examined.


About John Arbuthnot

Quotes 28 sayings
Nationality Scottish
Profession Physicist
Birthday October 16

It is impossible for a Die, with such determined force and direction which makes it fall on such a determined side, only I don't know the force and direction which makes it fall on such a determin'd side, and therefore I call that Chance, which is nothing, but want of Art.


Biography is one of the new terrors of death.


Truth is the same thing to the understanding, as Music to the ear, and Beauty to the eye.


He warns the heads of parties against believing their own lies.


O truth divine! enlightened by thy ray, I grope and guess no more, but see my way.


John looked ruddy and plump, with a pair of cheeks like a trumpeter.


Mathematical studies may serve for a pleasant entertainment for those hours which young men are apt to throw away upon their vices.


King is a title which translated into several languages, signifies a magistrate with as many different degrees of power as there are kingdoms in the world, and he can have no power but what is given him by law; yea, even the supreme or legislative power is bound by the rules of equity, to govern by laws enacted, and published in due form; for what is not legal is arbitrary.


I believe the calculation of the quantity of probability might be improved to a very useful and pleasant speculation, and applied to a great many events which are accidental, besides those of games; only these cases would be infinitely more confused, as depending on chances which the most part of men are ignorant of.


Unjust force can never give any just dominion.


Law is a Bottomless-Pit, it is a Cormorant, a Harpy, that devours every thing.


The dumpling is indeed of more ancient institution, and of foreign origin;

but alas, what were those dumplings? Nothing but a few lentils sodden together, moisten'd and cemented with a little seeth'd fat.


Never contradict. Never explain. Never apologize. (Those are the secrets of a happy life!)


Law is a bottomless pit.


Among the innumerable Footsteps of Divine Providence to be found in the Works of Nature, there is a very remarkable one to be observed in the exact Balance that is maintained, between the Numbers of Men and Women; for by this means it is provided, that the Species may never fail, nor perish, since every Male may have its Female, and of a proportionable Age.

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