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

— Jonathan Swift

The most craziest Jonathan Swift quotes to get the best of your day

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.


For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.


That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy.

Jonathan Swift quote Every dog must have his day.

Every dog must have his day.


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


The sight of you is good for sore eyes.


You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong.

It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday


He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.


A wise man will find us to be rogues by our faces.


It is the first rule in oratory that a man must appear such as he would persuade others to be: and that can be accomplished only by the force of his life.


They say fish should swim thrice * * * first it should swim in the sea (do you mind me?) then it should swim in butter, and at last, sirrah, it should swim in good claret.


A fig for partridges and quails, ye dainties I know nothing of ye;

But on the highest mount in Wales Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.


'Tis happy for him that his Father was born before him.


About Jonathan Swift

Quotes 446 sayings
Nationality Irish
Profession Writer
Birthday November 30, 1667

A prince, the moment he is crown'd, Inherits every virtue sound, As emblems of the sovereign power, Like other baubles in the Tower: Is generous, valiant, just, and wise, And so continues till he dies.


Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.


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


May you live every day of your life.


I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.


One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good.


Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.


A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.


May you live all the days of your life.


He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers.


Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.


Small causes are sufficient to make a man uneasy, when great ones are not in the way: for want of a block he will stumble at a straw.


There is nothing constant in this world but inconsistency.


I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.


Tell truth, and shame the devil.


This is every cook's opinion - no savory dish without an onion, but lest your kissing should be spoiled your onions must be fully boiled.


No wise man ever wished to be younger.


It is the talent of human nature to run from one extreme to another.


It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind.


I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.


The worthiest people are the most injured by slander, as is the best fruit which the birds have been pecking at.


Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.


I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.


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


Politics, as the word is commonly understood, are nothing but corruptions.


Wise people are never less alone than when they are alone.


Hail fellow, well met.


The various opinions of philosophers have scattered through the world as many plagues of the mind as Pandora's box did those of the body; only with this difference, that they have not left hope at the bottom.


For, if we take an examination of what is generally understood by happiness, as it has respect either to the understanding or the senses, we shall find all its properties and adjuncts will herd under this short definition: that it is a perpetual possession of being well deceived.


A nice man is a man of nasty ideas.


A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour.


Argument is the worst sort of conversation.


No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as not to receive new information from age and experience.


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


It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.


There's none so blind as they that won't see.


The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.