Who the heck is Samuel Butler?

Samuel Butler was the iconoclastic English author of the Utopian satirical novel Erewhon and the novel The Way of All Flesh.

Books by Samuel Butler

Quotes by Samuel Butler

“A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.”

Samuel Butler

“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.”

Samuel Butler

“A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler The Way of All Flesh

“Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.”

Samuel Butler

“Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.”

Samuel Butler

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”

Samuel Butler

“Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.”

Samuel Butler

“Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.”

Samuel Butler

“Don't learn to do, but learn in doing.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”

Samuel Butler

“Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.”

Samuel Butler

“God cannot alter the past, though historians can.”

Samuel Butler

“He that complies against his will, is of his own opinion still.”

Samuel Butler Hudibras

“I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.”

Samuel Butler

“I have never written on any subject unless I believed that the authorities on it were hopelessly wrong.”

Samuel Butler

“It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.”

Samuel Butler Erewhon

“It is death, and not what comes after death, that men are generally afraid of.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“Life is like giving a concert on the violin while learning to play the instrument.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“Life is one long process of getting tired.”

Samuel Butler

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.”

Samuel Butler

“Logic is like the sword—those who appeal to it shall perish by it.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.”

Samuel Butler

“Morality is the custom of one’s country and the current feeling of one’s peers. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibal country.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“Parents are the last people on Earth who ought to have children.”

Samuel Butler

“People are always in good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.”

Samuel Butler

“Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime.”

Samuel Butler The Way of All Flesh

“Silence is not always tact and it is tact that is golden, not silence.”

Samuel Butler

“The greatest 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.”

Samuel Butler

“The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.”

Samuel Butler

“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”

Samuel Butler

“The world is naturally averse to all truth it sees or hears
but swallows nonsense and a lie with greediness and gluttony.”

Samuel Butler

“There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“To me it seems that those who are happy in this world are better and more lovable people than those who are not.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler

“We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to them.”

Samuel Butler

“When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.”

Samuel Butler

“Words are clothes that thoughts wear.”

Samuel Butler

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

Samuel Butler