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

  2. 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.

  3. The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.

  4. Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.

  5. People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.

  6. Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it.

  7. Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances.

  8. In old times people used to try and square the circle; now they try and devise schemes for satisfying the Irish nation.

  9. When people talk of atoms obeying fixed laws, they are either ascribing some kind of intelligence and free will to atoms or they are talking nonsense. There is no obedience unless there is at any rate a potentiality of disobeying.

  10. People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.


The complete list of 266 Samuel Butler sayings