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

— Samuel Butler

The most vibrant Samuel Butler quotes to get the best of your day

Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.

85

Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud.

60

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.

58

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

54

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.

52

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Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.

51

Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.

49

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

46

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

42

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.

37

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

34

The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance.

33

About Samuel Butler

Quotes 266 sayings
Nationality British
Profession Poet
Birthday December 4, 1835

People are lucky and unlucky not according to what they get absolutely, but according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.

33

He dons are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.

32

To live is like to love - all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.

32

Life is one long process of getting tired.

31

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.

30

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.

30

The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.

30

Theist and atheist: the fight between them is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name.

25

A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner, but more durable alloy.

23

Christ and The Church: If he were to apply for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, adultery and desertion, he would probably get one.

22

Our minds want clothes as much as our bodies.

22

The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.

20

Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.

20

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

20

A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage - but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.

20

If the headache would only precede the intoxication, alcoholism would be a virtue.

19

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.

18

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.

18

A physician's physiology has much the same relation to his power of healing as a cleric's divinity has to his power of influencing conduct.

17

To himself everyone is an immortal. He may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.

16

All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.

16

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.

15

We are not won by arguments that we can analyse but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.

15

Men are seldom more commonplace than on supreme occasions.

14

God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.

13

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

13

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

12

We are not won by arguments that we can analyze, but by tone and temper; by the manner, which is the man himself.

12

The seven deadly sins: Want of money, bad health, bad temper, chastity, family ties, knowing that you know things, and believing in the Christian religion.

12

It is tact that is golden, not silence.

12

Logic is like the sword - those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.

12

Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.

11

Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.

11

If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.

10

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument.

10

In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved.

10

Neither have they hearts to stay, nor wit enough to run away.

10
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